Is it nice when we have a lady to come in a sausage fest?
I had listen to several podcast from AAA, and I do enjoy their causal, laid-back atmosphere on several anime topics - its just unfortunately I don't have too much to listen to podcasts around the web.
I actually have several friends that did study abroad in Japan, and in fact my youngest bro is studying in Japan for two semester. Adding to that is that my bro was in Japan for over a week vacationing, so what Chiaki was talking about, I did have some clue to those.
Being ABC (fyi, America Born Chinese), it doesn't make me instantly-adaptable to both sides of the Pacific Ocean, as I did have a hard time adjusting to living in Taiwan after spending the first several years in the US - such as going to school on Saturday! So I do understand Chiaki's position in the first few months living there, and I was sad to hear that her host-father pasted away shortly after her leave.
I do encourage my friends, who have never step out the US their entire lives, to visit a country they are interested in for about 2 weeks, to learn their culture and think about their own lives - hoping it could expand their minds and visions.
Every society will have its problems, and I think it will be almost impossible to erase the negativity embedded in older generation. I am aware of Japan's "selective" memories of WWII, and you know what, China and South Korea do have "selective" memories as well, heck, if you looked at how France's handling of its history during WWII, you'll get the idea. But this is where you hope younger generations can do better.
There are so many things that I wish I could have time to talk about, but I'll stop it here. Hopefully, the crew can get more guest to appear on Gundamn!