Craig-514 On Coming Up Short For Train Fare, In Life, And Japanese Blowfish Pictures

Craig Hoffman
4 min readOct 30, 2018

Craig note- I am a content dude, but; of course, most people don’t love reading about happy people. That’s sad, but it’s also really, really, really true.

Perhaps, those folks should eat more blowfish…(lol)

Cover Art: takahiro taguchi@tak_tag


On Being 20 Yen Short

20 yen.

That`s the amount of money that stopped me from getting through the ticket gate last weekend. Typically, I use my train pass, but I knew I was running low on funds on my card. So, I bought a ticket.

I threw some coins into the ticket machine, and I pushed a button.

I arrived at my local train station, and I put the ticket into the ticket gate. The bell sounded, and the gate closed before me.

I tried the ticket once more, but again the gate closed before me. Finally, I walked over to the office next to the gate.

I quickly rifled through my pockets. I pulled out my cell phone, three used tissues, four empty gum wrappers, and one ten yen coin.

In a bit of a panic, I pulled out my wallet. I opened a small pocket, and I took out my emergency 500 yen coin. The train staff took my money, and I was on my way to my home after a long day of work.

None the worse for wear…

On People Who Find Big Life Success And Those Who Don’t

It got me thinking how, “close in life” is often not nearly good enough for most people to find “real” success. But; to be sure, I know people who have reached huge levels of professional and personal success.

And; of course, I know a fair number; too, who have fallen short in their personal and professional lives. No doubt; there are some who are/were nowhere near reaching whatever lofty aspirations they have/had set out for themselves.

It happens.

Sadly, there is a tendency in modern society to espouse “everybody’s a winner.” And, that is a wonderful thing to believe, but it is not reality.

And, that’s the truth.

On Tortured Souls Who Can’t Give Up

I have a smaller group of people I know who are “almost” reaching their dreams. And; yet, these same tortured souls always seem to come up a little short in life. And, I am not immune to such failures.

This came up recently as I was pushing the mantra that “hard work matters…” to a great friend questioning why I make such enormous life effort (for little tangible success).

And, I do.

It would be great if I could tell you what that is the case, but; alas, I cannot. I suppose if I knew why the universe loves stepping on my dreams, it would not change anything.

But, there is something inside me that just screams, “Craig! If you just work a little bit harder, you will get that elusive brass ring that you are always yapping about in life.”

And, that keeps me going.

On Tug Of War With The Universe

I push forward.

The universe pushes back.

There was a time my result were not so fortunate. Karma ran me over like a bus in America, and it often back up just to do it all over again.

Seriously, it was like a sport to the universe.

Generally, that does not bother me. Life (and a car) has a mind of its own even in Japan, and I go about my day.

It happens; although, I wish that it would not.

Perhaps, I will one day learn how to seize enough opportunities during my finite existence to find big, big, big success. Until then, I shall likely have to accept both my train tickets and my life on occasion:

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Bonus Food Picture And Blog Posts

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

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“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”- Marie Curie

Originally published at on October 30, 2018.



Craig Hoffman

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”