Not sure if you guys recognise the familiar Just For Laughs Gags ending thingamajig. Just For Laughs Gags is, I think, the most popular prank show on television. I dislike Just For Laughs Gags Asia because Singaporeans have no sense of humour so the passers-by were dull to watch, and also the tricks they thought up were more frightening than amusing, really. I remember there were prank shows like Gotcha and Punk’d (was that the name?) that tricked celebrities but they could be cruel at times so I still think Just For Laughs Gags is the most humourous. I do enjoy myself laughing at some of their creative tricks. And it’s perfectly relevant during April Fools too, but what we’re going to talk about today on our Thursday travels is the birthplace of Laughs, Montreal.
Montreal sits in the province of Quebec in Canada and is in fact the second-largest city in the country. Montreal is also the second-largest French-speaking city in the world behind Paris. Talk about seconds. The interesting thing about Quebec in general, I hear, is that they are — up to this very moment — still struggling to gain independence from Canada and any English-speaking roots, but they haven’t had the majority to do so. They consider themselves apart from the country, though, and stubbornly speak French. They also don’t celebrate the 1st of July, which is Canada Day. On 1st July, most people wear black. Leases also deliberately expire on 1st July so that the people spend the day moving around. It’s like a rebellious black sheep in the country that they just can’t get rid of, huh?
But we shouldn’t talk about Quebec in such a bad light. Montreal is still an exciting city to visit. In fact, Montreal is widely known for its two flexible “orientations”. What do I mean? Well, the first “orientation” is in its physical orientations. It has been said that only in Montreal, the sun rises in the south. This is because they use an unconventional compass, using the river and mountain as cardinal points. The St Lawrence River is south and Mount Royal is north. So according to our compass, the East End is actually north and West Island is really in the south. Even maps use such a system, so be careful!
The second “orientation” in Montreal is its sexual orientation. Canada is one of the major countries contributing to homosexual rights, and same-sex marriage is legal in Quebec, among other places in Canada. Gay and lesbian tourists will feel right at home there. Montreal’s pride celebration is towards the last week of July and first week of August and is the second-largest in Canada after Toronto.
But when you’re travelling in Canada in general, do remember to pack clothes for all weathers, even if you think it’s the summer. They’ve had snow in June before, and the weather is on the cold side unless it is sunny. Temperatures will never reach Singapore’s levels, so don’t go anywhere without your sweater!
My Canadian friend really loves putine, which is something I’ve mentioned before in my first ever Thursday entry. Do check that dish out if you’re ever over in those lands!