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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: My Name Is Leon
    My Name Is Leon
    by Kit De Waal
    Kit de Waal's striking debut, My Name is Leon, has inspired this big, long, complicated question: ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

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.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.