This is a promotional film from General Motors, but check it out. You see a good mountain road, better than those I have been on recently. You discover that Lima has the oldest traffic laws in the world – ironic now that traffic is so savage, laws are not obeyed, and the discussion of the many accidents and deaths is the theme of the day. You learn that the one-way street was invented by a limeño – apparently in the nineteenth century (Paris got its first one-way streets in 1909. Footnote 1: London got gas traffic lights in 1868, and electric ones appeared in Salt Lake City in 1912. Footnote 2: [City] buses here and in Chile are called microbuses, I do not know why and should ask, although I have always assumed it was in contrast to inter-city buses (“omnibuses”) which, of course, tend to be the same size. In any case, they are called “micros” for short, and “microbes” as a joke.)
In 1927 I bet the food was fantastic, for those who had it – and perhaps as many or more people had it than do now, I would like to have some statistics on this. I have not mentioned that there is this serrano ham existing mythically in Santiago de Chuco and Huamachuco, but that I could not get any. The butter there is supposed to be wonderful but it is only made by individuals for their own consumption, since not enough can be made to make it worthwhile to distribute.
In general, in both Peru and Brazil margarine and Spam-like products prevail over butter and ham, even among those who can afford the latter. The same goes for instant coffee and powdered milk. And one day in Huamachuco I ordered coffee with milk and was asked, did I mean cow’s milk? I said do you mean you also have goat’s milk, but no, the question was did I want fresh or canned milk? Many people prefer canned milk and I still do not know whether they are just used to it, or whether they like it because it is thicker and thus reminds them of cream.