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  • adv. Anyway; despite.

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  • We look back at the airport terminal, the aisle of the bus, the train in the busy station. It's the last shred of our homeland. It disappears.

    When we arrive, we look around. We see things we have never seen before. But it's not the environment that's strange, it is us. We are stranieri. Strangers.

    We are students, foreigners. We were Yoo Hock Shen, Mohammed Abdelkadir and Alex Johnson until we were suddenly Paolo, Alberto and Ricardo; our names become different and we have new addresses we can't remember. Our phones don't work, at least for a while. Identity is stripped away. What is us is what fits inside a suitcase. We are twenty kilograms of somebody.

    We are migrants. We are the migrants who will depart. Migrants just the same.

    March 17, 2010