I got a surprise when I checked in for the first Scrabble tournament in Tiberias, and was handed a room-key. I couldn’t afford to stay at the hotel, and had planned to sleep over at relatives a few kilometres outside town.
“This is a mistake,” I said. “I’m not staying just playing in the tourney.”
“Isn’t your name Braun?” I was asked, and had to admit it was. “Well, you have a room here that’s been paid for.”
“That must be my room,” came a voice from behind me. And I turned to see a woman I’d never met. “My name is Varda Brown, and I have a booking.”
She turned to me, and asked me where I was staying. When I told her, she said: “That’s nonsense, driving back and forth through the Galil at night. Come and share my room.”
I accepted her invitation. We became friends during that tournament, and more than a quarter of a century later, we’re still the closest of friends.