A female friend and her newish boyfriend are embarked on a trip to Cuba, and the first leg was flying yesterday to Mexico City. They stayed there last night.

Lady Friendo: “We just had a dinner and spent the night at a Marriott. Now we are about to leave for Havana. We will stay in Mexico City on our way back.”

HE to Lady Friendo: “You didn’t even walk around, smell the air, sample some local cuisine, look into the faces of local residents? You just stayed inside the walled fortress of a Marriott? That’s not living. Wait…which Marriott? Please don’t tell me you stayed at the one near the airport.”

Lady Friendo to HE: “We arrived late. We were tired and hungry. It’s a time difference. And we are having an early flight to Havana. Yes, we stayed close to the airport. And that was the plan. We will stay and see everything on our way back.”

HE to Lady Friendo: “The flight from LAX to Mexico City is 3 hours and 40 minutes…big deal. It’s shameful to stay in a Marriott. It’s the hotel equivalent of an anesthetic.”

Lady Friendo to HE: “I love everything about this trip! Easy, comfortable, excellent organization of absolutely everything. My way of relaxation.”

HE to Lady Friendo: “And your idea of a great hotel experience is staying at a Marriott? Staying at a Marriot is like shooting heroin into your veins. Marriot hotels are what Hilton hotels used to be. There’s a scene in Billy Wilder‘s Avanti in which Jack Lemmon, a wealthy American businessman, has just entered a lovely old-world Italian hotel, and his first harumphy comment is ‘well, it certainly doesn’t look like a Hilton!’ And the Italian concierge replies, ‘Thank you for the compliment.'”

Lady Friendo to HE: “There are no direct flights to Havana. Marriot was a place to have a nice dinner and spend the night in comfort. I am a person who LOVES COMFORT. Not sleeping on the floors at airports.”

HE to Lady Friendo: “Every rich person in world history (going back to Marie Antoinette) has said exactly the same thing — ‘I love comfort.’ There are richer, more bountiful things to be savored in the world than mere ‘comfort.’ It’s the duty of every serious traveller to look beyond the banality of that.”

Lady Friendo to HE: “I LOVE LUXURY! I’ve had it all my life! Before I moved here. Not going to change my standards again.”

HE to Lady Friendo: “Then, due respect, you have chosen to live within a certain kind of cocoon. Kim Kardashian luxuries. Congrats.”