18 (Sun) January 2015
Beef & Bean Curry
in my apartment
Pope Francis is in town. The most densely populated city in the world, the most fanatically Catholic country in the world, Manila was bound to get crazy, so the government announced an ad hoc national holiday for the duration of the Holy Father’s stay, as well as a complete liquor ban at all restaurants and stores, from last Thursday through tomorrow Monday. 6 million people were expected to attend the high mass this afternoon at Rizal Park–which would’ve been a world record for a gathering of any kind, surpassing the previous mark of 5 million set in 1995 by Pope John Paul II’s mass also in Manila–but the rains kept many at home, leaving only about 3 million–only in Manila would 3,000,000 people be referred to as “only.”
After spending a few hours in the office today, I left for home at around 14:30 to watch the proceedings on TV, but I was caught in a sudden swell of people at an intersection and stuck there for a full 40 minutes, completely unable to budge. Never seen/experienced anything like it. I could imagine, feeling the intense pressure of so many bodies, how people get crushed to death in stampedes.
The curry was from a packaged powder by National Foods Limited.
Whereas the instructions called for a cup of yoghurt, I added Greek yoghurt, which rendered the sauce too thick and unbearably tart. I just picked out the pieces of beef and beans, avoiding the curry as much as possible. So much for divine inspiration.