Actually, "hardly knew" overstates things. I didn't know him at all. But Raz from Queens not only cooked me a batch of pancakes, he also gave me a rundown of all the places I should go and see in Israel - which I'm planning on visiting in January.
This is what I love about hosteling. Particularly when traveling solo.
You are unlikely to feel lonely at most hostels.
In the short time between when I checked in at the Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, hostel (actually located in Knoxville, WV) and left to visit the historic town of Harpers Ferry, I ended up talking to two bicyclists and one weaver, all staying there.
The two bicyclists had just traveled 60 miles on the C & O Canal and were going to bike another 60 miles into Washington, DC, the next day. Another woman had taken weaving classes nearby and was hanging out at the hostel for five days or so.
I chose the hostel because I wanted to go on one ghost tour starting at 8 pm and a second one at a "haunted cottage" at 10 pm (I didn't make it) and I just needed a place to sleep. Why pay $125 to $130 when a bed can be had for $28?
Most people go to Harpers Ferry to bike, raft, tube (Harpers Ferry is at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers) hike the Appalachian Trail or visit the historic site of abolitionist John Brown's raid on the United States Arsenal and Armory in 1859.
I highly recommend all of them, depending on your preference. I've road tested all those options over the years. But, as I said, I was goin' a ghostin' this time.
The morning after my spooky night, I sat down to that pancake breakfast. There were four of us: Kathleen the weaver, Raz and Raz's wife Meital. All had already spent several days at the hostel.
They told me that a few nights earlier, a lawyer who had dropped his daughter off at college stayed over one night and brought his guitar to the hostel's community room for a singalong.
That, too, would have been a fun night to have visited.
"The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature. ... This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic..."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1783
(Quote Found on the Harpers Ferry Historic Town Foundation website)