Remembering the advice the mayor of Bruchsal had given me, the moment I had arrived in this little village, I had sought out the Bürgermeister. I found him in the Gemeindeamt, where he filled out a slip of paper. I presented it at the inn: it entitled me to supper and a mug of beer, a bed for the night and bread and a bowl of coffee in the morning; all on the parish. It seems amazing to me now, but so it was, and there was no kind of slur attached to it; nothing, ever, but a friendly welcome. I wonder how many times I took advantage of this generous and, apparently, very old custom? It prevailed all through Germany and Austria, a survival perhaps, of some ancient charity to wandering students and pilgrims, extended now to all poor travellers.
I read this last night, and then went to bed and dreamed that several people I know only from Twitter showed up at my house. We were having a wonderful impromptu party, when I suddenly realized that they were expecting me to put them up for the night. In the dream I took it for granted that if you follow someone on Twitter you are obliged to give them hospitality whenever they need it; my only concern was where to put them all, because I didn’t have nearly enough beds to accommodate the visitors.