This is the first step in my project to read the whole Discworld series. I had read a few (maybe 4 or 5) of these books, out of order, over a period of 12 years. Time to put it in order in my head.
I just stumbled into this video in The argentine post, which is a "documentary" from 1932 about traveling in Argentina.
There you can see: a bandoneón and guitar duo playing (for some reason) on a speeding boat.
Folkloric dancers in high heels. Very, very very bad ones, too, specially the women wearing said high heels.
A real life crazy law: coats were mandatory, so men wore pyjama coats in the streets (no, they were not mandatory on the streets although you wouldn't get into almost any bussiness without one).
A man selling milk from a cow in the street. Riiiiight. Ok, that is almost plausible. Could happen sometimes.
The world's worst mate, with about as much sugar as yerba (believe me, that's not even good for tourists).
A comment like this "It is seldom that an argentine woman is troubled about the rights of her sex".
If this was paid for by some tourism promotion agency: they really pushed it. If it was paid by MGM: crappy production values in the staged scenes, dudes!
The really really bad side of this kind of thing you can see in the comments by people that seem to be argentines who say things like "It was such a country. What have they done with it?".
You know what? Argentina in the 1930s sucked as a place to live in for most people. It was ok if you were a member of the Jockey Club, I suppose, but the average guy lived like crap.
Sure, the per capita income was high... compared to a world ravaged by the great depression, and even then 70% of the people lived in poverty. And trust me, poverty in the 30s was a bad place to be! Read some freaking Arlt.
What was the life expectancy of the average argentine? How about 55? (see here) Yes, this "rich" place had a life expectancy 20 years lower than today.
Of course you had almost no political rights because less than 35% of the population over 18 years old had the right to vote.
Those who did vote could just as well not bother, since there was rampant fraud.
There was no public health system.
There were no retirements. You worked until you could work no more, then you lived with your kids, if you had them. If you didn't, they bad luck for you.
You lived under laws that would now seem draconian, the police could arrest you without cause and hold you almost forever.
But yeah, Palermo was a nice racetrack (Hell, it still is!) where the dissolute rich could waste the money they earned as absentee landlords of vast ranches, and you could swim in the Costanera (now polluted).
The gist? We are better off now. The average argentine citizen has more rights, lives better and longer than the average 1930s argentine.
The rest is touristy crap and false memories.
This was a quick read. Then again, I was just finishing "The great book of amber" which is about the size of a phone book and has almost as many characters, so the Torah could have seemed a quick read, too.