Excerpt from Take Me With You by Brad Newsham, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Take Me With You

A Round-the-World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home

by Brad Newsham

Take Me With You
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2000, 376 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2002, 376 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter 1.
ONE HUNDRED DAYS

When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.
– Voltaire

The cab driver glanced back at me. "You..." he said. "America?"

It was a Wednesday evening in early November–the pleasant, dry season in the Philippines–and a breeze with the feel of warm coconut milk was pouring through my open window. I’d studied a map on the plane: the blackness beyond the row of palm trees to our left would be Manila Bay. To our right a congregation of burlap lean-tos overflowed onto the sidewalk, and, between two of them, a woman was cooking something over a smoky fire.

"Yes," I said. "America. San Francisco."

"Ah, Cah-lee-for-nee-ah!" said the driver. "California best."

He slowed to acknowledge a red traffic signal, then, reassured, sailed through it. Above the meter were a license and photo identifying the taxi as Golden Cab Number Two (it was painted black) and the driver as Mr. Alfredo Errabo. At the airport Mr. Errabo had agreed to take me to Manila’s Ermita district where, according to my guidebook, hotel rooms cost less than $10 a night.

In the past I might have insisted on something cheaper, $5 or less, but this was the best-financed trip I’d ever had. A couple of decades had exhausted themselves since my visit to the Hindu Kush, but I had not yet become rich–by Western standards I had never even been close. But recently I had sold a book, my first, and after paying off all my debts I was left with the biggest stash of my life, $6,800. I thought: Give up my apartment, put everything in storage, and I can afford a trip. My editor had asked me to be back for publication in mid-February, and when I sat down with my calendar and counted its squares, I discovered a travel window of exactly 100 days. I studied maps of Africa and Asia and picked out several places I’d always been curious about–the Philippines, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa–and one, India, I was eager to see again. I bought $3,000 worth of plane tickets, set aside $300 for a splurge/emergency fund, and put $1,000 into a savings account–something to come back to. This left $2,500 for expenses: 100 days at $25 a day. In the places I was headed I would be one of the wealthy.

When Mr. Errabo and I had been riding for more than ten minutes the meter read 28 pesos–a sum about equal to the cost of a medium-sized cup of coffee back home. But in San Francisco the twelve-mile trip from the airport to the Transamerica Pyramid downtown cost about $30–without a tip. I knew. Mr. Errabo and I were brothers.

"In San Francisco," I told him, "I am a taxi driver."

He turned to look at me, headlights from behind illuminating his gimme-a-break facial expression. "You," he said, "taxi owner?"

"No. Taxi driver." I raised my hands to my own imaginary steering wheel. "I drive–like you. Every day, ten hours."

Mr. Errabo snorted. "Ten hours..."

"Yes." I was no slouch. "Ten-hour shift."

"In Manila," he said, "twenty-four hours."

"No! Nobody drives twenty-four hours. When do you sleep?"

"Sleep other day. Today I drive twenty-four hours, no sleep–maybe ten minutes sometimes. Tomorrow another man drive twenty-four hours, I sleep. Next day, I drive twenty-four hours, he sleep." Mr. Errabo jerked the wheel back and forth three times to weave us through a series of beach ball-sized potholes. At the side of the road a group of four men and two women were clustered around a smoking car; the women held babies and waved frantically at us. Mr. Errabo ignored them. "In California, drive ten hours. How many dollars?"

Knowing full well he'd never believe it, I told him the truth: "Average day–$150."

Copyright 2000. Brad Newsham. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Travelers' Tales Inc

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

The moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we've changed their lives ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.