The Toronto-Gunma boys come in hot on the very first episode of 2018. Gavin, Andrew, and Jeef reconnect after a two-week winter vacation. The gang is immediately trusted into car talk as we talk about Andrew’s busted bumper. Gavin also talks about getting a flat tire.
Afterwards, Gavin retells the tales of his two-week long southwestern Japan road-trip. Many places were reached, and many more Instagram photos were farmed. The gang compares the differences between being a tourist in popular Japanese tourist spots versus the Japanese countryside.
Picking up from Episode 3, Gavin talks about the possibility of staying in Japan for another year and half. He talks about the internal and external struggles of finally coming to a decision. The guys also talk about what to do with their remaining time in Japan. Immediate goals include studying Japanese, travelling, and starting a language exchange group.
Gavin is once again joined by Andrew, and fellow English teacher, Mat (with one T). Mat shares some Australian chocolates with the gang as we hear about why he’s teaching in Japan. Gavin talks about overcoming extreme heartbreak as the gang is recovering from the loss of – what will now be known as – the “lost episode” of DIU Podcast.
Issues this week include outrageous phone bills and slow ass Internet speeds, snow season in Japan, and the lack of a “regular sized” adult toothbrush. However, the main topic this week revolves around the gang’s impending decision of renewing the contract to stay in Japan for another year… Why are Andrew and Gavin on the fence? Tune in to find out!
Later on throughout the show, hearing about the Australian chocolates, another good friend (and English teacher), Lena, pops into the studio. She talks about her contract renewal decision and her desire to learn Japanese. We also hear some hot gossip about misbehaving co-workers and stories of how people keep hitting on her.
Gavin and Andrew check back in for the second installment of DIU Japan. This time they are joined by fellow Canadian English teacher, Jeef. This week, the gang focus their discussion heavily on driving in Japan.
Now well into their first few months in the Gunma prefecture, the gang all have rented kei (yellow plate) cars – expanding the realm of possibilities while exploring the land of the rising sun. But not all is right in this seemingly beautiful paradise.
Gavin rants about the fact that there is no “left on red,” how he paying more for insurance than Andrew and Jeef, and how amber lights literally last half a second.
We also talk about our boy Ebachan – A.K.A. a NPC mechanic character straight out of Initial D – and our two-hour hike up a mountain during a typhoon.
Other topics include super thin apartment walls, the legendary gaijin smash ability, and the group of people known as gaijin hunters.
(Recorded on September 18, 2017)
Apologies for the delay, as it took me two-plus weeks to edit this episode (read: get my shit together)
After spending a month getting acclimated to his new home, Gavin returns behind the mic for the premiere episode of DIU Podcast: Japan. Gavin is joined by long-time friend, and fellow English teacher, Andrew.
The two talk about the initial month in Japan. Topics include: buying shoes, setting up apartments, social conformity, work-life balance, cultural distinction, Japan as a cash society, and the North Korean missile threat.
Stay tuned as there will be many more issues to be uncovered; whether in Japan or globally.
I mentioned that the North Korea fired a missile over Japan on Monday (Aug 28) – I misspoke. Although Western media would have learned of the news on Monday, the actual event happened on Tuesday (Aug 29) in Japan.
Grace (episode 14) returns to the studio, clearly distraught, after hearing the big announcement from last week.
We hear about Jack’s college graduation ceremony as Gavin talks about optimistic graduation speeches. Should graduation speeches preach (false?) optimism to young adults or should we be giving more realistic speeches. Maybe optimistic graduation speeches set up unrealistic expectations of the world after schooling, or maybe we’re just a bunch of jaded old people… Meanwhile, Jack recounts the recent tale of his near-death experience. We talk about what our final thoughts would be under such circumstances.
Afterwards, clearly spooked by his near-death experience, Jack asks Grace if his standards of getting married by the age of 28 is realistic.
Check out Grace’s blog (and relationship advice) and Chinese novel translations at liveandlearn88 and volarenovels (check out Grace Time)!
Gavin confronts Jack about why part two of the California vlog still hasn’t been released. Jack also retracts a point about Gen Z kids and drug use he made on episode 31.
Jeremy Lin recently mentioned that he faced more racism during his college career when compared to his NBA career. Jack is distraught to hear that racism (still) exists in the 21st century and can’t believe that college students can be racist. Meanwhile, Gavin brings in the issue of how a school district in California may be overstepping their boundaries by disciplining students who “liked” some Instagram posts. The conversation spirals into a discussion about online behaviour and its real-world implications.
Afterwards, the Love Guru tackles a listener’s question in this week’s segment of the Kao Lui Corner.
Kyle drops by the studio this week as we hear his side of last week’s TFTI story. Gavin then brings in the topic of how a group of teenagers who vandalized a historic school in Virginia were recently sentenced to basically write book reports. More importantly, we learn about Jack’s disinterest in reading books for educational purposes. Meanwhile, a very stressed out Jack brings in the issue of whether or not we should stick to our comfort zones or to see what else life has to offer. The conversation goes extremely deep as Kyle and Gavin debate with Jack about the purpose of life and the idea of a quarter-life crisis.
Afterwards, the Love Guru, who has not written a new article since episode 34, continues his streak of not providing new content alive. Instead, he tries to avoid the situation by asking Gavin and Kyle about their ideal women.
We’re joined in studio this week by our good friend Chen. Gavin brings in the topic of learning methods. Specifically, we discuss the merits of direct learning and inquiry-based learning. Meanwhile, Jack brings in the issue of parent influences over their children’s career aspirations. Should parents have a say in what their children want to do?
Afterwards, Chen is interviewed on his opinions for previously covered Kao Lui Corner topics.
Our good friend, Seb, joins us in the first double-digit episode of DIU Podcast. This week Gavin compares the schooling of Asian countries to that of the West. We discuss how culture could influence students to be more studious and tackle the stereotype of all Asians being great at math. Meanwhile, Jack brings in the issue of how Hong Kongers are always looking down and complaining about the people from mainland China.
Afterwards, the Love Guru asks Seb for some feedback in regards to the Kao Lui Corner.
Here is the infamous Lexi tweet as published by Jack in 2013:
You’re listening to the University episode of DIU Podcast! This week Gavin brings in the issue of whether or not he should go to his university graduation ceremony. Meanwhile, Jack hijacks Gavin’s issue by bringing in the topic of how post-secondary education isn’t as cracked up as its made out to be.
One more huge shout-out to the Toronto Raptors who were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs on Friday May 27. They went further than most people expected and we’re looking forward to seeing the Raptors back in action next season!