Belfast Telegraph

Nuala McKeever: Belfast’s Continental Market a bizarre bazaar

There's a new Christmas tradition in Belfast.

It involves going to the Continental Market at the City Hall, getting squashed in the crowds, wondering why you bothered ‘cos it’s the same stuff every year and buying things you don’t really want just because you’re there.

You eat food you could easily get from the deli of any supermarket and you pretend it’s exotic because the people don’t speak English very well.

You go looking for “It’s A Wonderful Life” but you end up at Nutts Corner, with foreign accents.

The following June you throw out three packets of those Swiss biscuits that you set on top of your mug of tea to let the steam soften the chocolate filling, cos you tried them al fresco in the damp Christmas air and thought “Lovely, they’re on offer, I’ll get four packets.”

Then you took them home and it was like eating a piece of dry wall lining that had gone soggy in the middle.

I like to imagine there’s a market in Paris, with a stall from here.

Loads of chic Parisians gathered round a wee man in a cap shoutin’ “Any smokers! Get yer lighters, five fer a poun’!”

And the French smiling and saying, “How quaint! And he can’t even speak English very well let’s buy 10.”

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