The idea of a hegemonic post-colonial South Asia ruptures when the post-colonial diaspora becomes the refuge for the unwanted minorities such as the Bhojpuri speaker in Nepal or the Ahmadiyya in SE Asia. The migrant worker finds anchor in the diaspora as the margins of the homeland dissolve, and the shore of the diaspora becomes the dockyard.
As a professional PhD researcher who thinks, reads, writes, and interviews airport labor and automation for a living in Singapore over the past 1.5years across SE Asia and Gulf, it was surreal to observe the check in process at Changi T3 behind the glass screen with a masked-up airport worker and serpentine lines of passengers.
The process was as if the pandemic did not happen as the process was the same, although there was a shorter pre verified line where the passenger submits documents online 36 hours in advance. The approval comes in just prior to the check in beginning.
It was great to enter an airport after 16 months to drop off a kind soul who was heading for a family reunion after 30 months.
Pandemic immobility is real, but it was great seeing Changi again.
Hope to fly in July.
As we are back to the normal-normal- remember not to take mobility for granted and be kind, many of us are still mourning the loss.