Life’s not too bad here in Belfast city centre but that doesn’t stop us finding things to complain about.
Here are some of the first world problems that we encounter on a daily basis as we try to co-exist in Belfast city centre…
1. The lunchtime queue at Boojum
When you’ve made your mind up you want a Boojum but are then faced with a queue that snakes out the door and as far as Londonderry House. Let’s be honest, the queue at Boojum is the only reason we know that Londonderry House exists.
2. Running the parking gauntlet
On-street parking spaces are at a premium in the city centre. And even when you’ve found what seems to be the perfect space you’re never quite sure whether it’s a trap set by the red coats.
3. Oh, you meant the other Starbucks!
When you arrange to meet someone in a coffee shop then it dawns on you that it’s a chain and you’re in the wrong one… on the other side of the city.
4. Forward planning fail
It’s not often you get up early and spend a good 15 minutes crafting a salad fit for a king (on a diet). Only to arrive in work and realise you forgot to bring it with you.
5. ATM out of order
Cash machines are supposed to give us cash, it’s their job, if we didn’t do our job we’d get sacked.
6. Catching a bus
There are three things that can happen when you’re waiting for a bus in the city centre. One, it won’t turn up. Two, it will turn up late. And three, when it does turn up it will be full and drive on. You’ll notice the bus turning up on time isn’t one of the outcomes.
7. Mine. Mine. Mine
We have no actual proof that seagulls have got bigger and more dangerous, but it’s definitely true. Their fly-bys always seem a little too close for comfort and if they’re not trying to steal our food then they’re trying to add their own ‘special dressing’ to it.
8. No plans at lunchtime
It’s always better to have plans for your lunchbreak, whether you’ve got a few messages to run or solid plans for a lunch date. Those times when you leave the office for a dander around the city centre with absolutely no idea of where you want to go are the most dangerous. These are the days when you come back with a new outfit, an in-store credit card, two new TV box sets and a fast food takeaway to eat at your desk.
9. Obeying your thirst
We’re partial to the odd craft beer and very fond of a fine coffee in Belfast, but sometimes there can be such a thing as too much choice. Don’t even get us started on rotating taps and guest coffees of the month.
10. The hardest decision
Maybe you’ve forgot your lunch, or maybe you’ve already planned to venture into the city centre in search of lunchtime sustenance. Either way, you’re faced with the pain-staking decision of where to go. With so many places to choose from this is a decision that can ironically take most of lunchtime. In the end we all have a default shop where we’ll grab the same reliable sandwich as we do for the other four days of the week. Next week we promise to go somewhere new.
11. The hardest decision (made even harder)
It’s hard enough when you’re deciding where to eat for just one person, but add some friends into the mix and the debate on where to eat gets a lot more complicated. Some are trying to be good, some want to be bad, some don’t like spicy food, some don’t appear to like anything (including the group of friends they’re supposed to be dining with). The debate can go on long into the night, which is handy because then there’s less options to choose from.
No one enjoys getting into a taxi. Especially taxi drivers. Worse still is when you’re desperately trying to get home after a night out, every taxi company is telling you it’ll be at least a two-hour wait, yet every taxi that drives past appears to be empty.
13. Caught short
Finding a public toilet in Belfast city centre is not as easy as you might think. Check out our list of toilet hacks for handy reference next time you need to spend a penny without spending a penny.
14. Sunseekers battle for space
When the sun is out, our thoughts turn to having lunch al fresco at City Hall. Only problem is Al Fresco has invited all his mates. No one wants a spot in the shade or next to that bloke on his own reading the latest issue of ‘Must-Have Machetes’. So at the first glimpse of sunshine it’s best to down tools and get there early to claim the best spot. If only you were allowed to leave your beach towels like on holidays.
15. Spending more than you need to
When you’ve gone on a lunchtime shopping free, but forget the shopping bag that you’ve stored in your bottom drawer for such occasions. Instead of spending £80, you now have to spend £80.05. The extra cost is too much to bear and you vow never to forget that bag again. Until you do exactly the same the following week.
16. Having the right change
When you need the right change for the parking meter or the bus and get yourself into a panic, rushing into the nearest convenience store in need of breaking a £20. Even though the most logical purchase would be a packet of chewing gum, you end up buying a magazine you’ll never read, a losing scratchcard and a family size chocolate bar.
17. What’s on offer?
When you really want a cocktail but they’re all full price. No two for ones. No happy hours. Just lots of very tempting cocktails at full price. We need discounts. Because we’re all students at heart.
18. Temporary amnesia when you get asked for directions
You’ve walked every inch of the city centre hundreds of times over, yet an out-of-towner asks you for directions to a particular street and your in-built maps app won’t load. In the end you give them assured directions to a crowded part of the city knowing that they’ll find someone there who will actually be able to help them.
19. Foiled by the changeable weather
When you make your wardrobe decision based on the weather conditions that morning, then torrential rain hits and suddenly your decision to go ‘sans coat’ means that you’ll have to get a bus or taxi home. See problems 6 & 12.
20. Constant roadworks and siteworks
We can’t wait for the day that Belfast actually gets finished.