CHAPTER 11Walking with My Father

Phuket Beach, Thailand, January 2011

AFTER A MONTH IN CHINA, MY LUNGS ACHED AND MY SKIN was breaking out. The oppressive pollution was enough to make me crave the pristine air, water, and amenities of New York; yet something was blocking me from booking my return ticket. Since the first dinner in Shanghai, Dad hadn’t lectured me, even once. We were all being very cordial to one another, but I knew the trip would feel incomplete if I didn’t allow him to say his piece.

In a masochistic impulse, I considered taking him back to New York with me, but just then an epic snowstorm buried the city. We needed a less harsh environment, without snow or pollution or traffic jams.

“Make sure you take a ferry to Phi Phi Island,” ...

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