Today we watched the Super Bowl. I know; a strange thing to do in French Canadia. However, the entire experience was a lot of fun and completely different from any Super Bowl party I'd ever been to in the States. For one, the game was being shown on a massive movie screen at a performing arts theater downtown.
The whole thing was co-sponsored by a local French radio station and Budweiser. The tickets said that the doors openned at 1:30. We arrived at 2:00 hoping that we hadn't missed kick-off - clearly completely forgetting which time zone we were now in - only to find that they were showing a Montréal/Pittsburgh hockey game complete with all-French commentary.
(Sorry about the quality of the indoor photos. It was hard to get decent pictures.)
At first we were confused. Then we were worried. We had this bad feeling that we'd just bought tickets to our first all-French Super Bowl. That's the thing about Québec City ... While Montréal is pretty bilingual, Québec City is considerably less so and everyone around us in the theater was yammering away in French.
After a few hours of all-French hockey (hours), the MCs of the day took to the stage, said a lot of things I didn't understand, gave away some raffle prizes and tossed t-shirts into the packed crowd, and then introduced a live cover band.
Yes, our Super Bowl party had a live cover band interlude after the three-hour hocky overture. The band was pretty good and proceeded to play a bunch of American punk and hard rock tunes: Rage Against the Machine, Greenday, and their "specialty," a butt-load of System of a Down. The funny thing was that, since they spoke French but performed in English, their songs had a very thick French accent. Imagine Green Day without any consonants and you get the idea.
"Oo oo 'ave duh tiie/oo 'eesen doo meh when/ah-boot nah-teeng an eh-vree-ting ahl ah wance" Etc. Weird. It went on for an hour, after which a local university's cheerleading team took to the stage.
They lept around performing their pyramid formations and routines while Amanda and I stared at each other in disbelief, desperately trying to figure out the the heck was going on.
Three and a half very weird hours after we first arrived, the actual game finally got off to a helluva start. We were both fully expecting the theater to be full of American tourists, but it wasn't. We were also fully expecting the game to be in French after the hockey game they first showed. But it wasn't either. We sat there for the next 4.5 hours with a theater full of die-hard, French-speaking Football fans watching the Detroit, MI feed of the Super Bowl in English. It was so much fun to see the game in that environment, even if the Bears didn't win.
Another day, another crazy Canadian honeymoon adventure.