When travellers meet they inevitably converse about their experiences in the countries that they have visited.
There is also a high chance that their recall of events will be assisted by alcoholic refreshments.
There is an equally high likelihood that the choice of drinks will reflect the tone of conversation.
Recently I attended a meeting of beer drinking men from around the globe - those from the Southern Hemisphere, Europeans and British (who must now be distinguished!).
Whilst lager drinkers may be distinguished from craft beer drinkers there seemed little likelihood that this group would raise anything contentious.
All was well until the group arrived in Hobart.
At this point an elderly Brit admitted his distaste for the town.
Queried, he described it as being "unsophisticated" because it's hotels and restaurants did not have "white table cloths and napkins!"
Like most Kiwis I'm happy to bag our Aussie cousins at any time, but to associate sophistication to table cloths was absurd and only reflected the degree of prejudice held by the proponent.
I was tempted to state that these comments were pure snobbery.
I had always identified sophistication with a person's breadth of knowledge and their tolerance of differences.
I bit my tongue...and reflected on how lucky it is to live in a country whose values are not based on the pretence of social niceties!