The almost middle aged, middle-eastern looking man with the scruffy beard seemed to be the only other person besides me who used the hostel's common room-kitchen. He fixed himself dinner the first night. The next night he waited until a couple finished cooking their dinner and then asked me, "you cook?" "No thanks, I'm just having tea."
He puttered in the kitchen as I read in an easy chair. At length he came over and asked "you soap?" As he waved the bowl I understood. My gratefullness flowed out in a wave. "I'd love some," I said with a wide smile.