Chocie gems from the treasury of the wisdom of Albania

The first Christmas card always comes from someone you weren't going to send a card to

TODAY I am bringing you some of my favourite Albanian proverbs. Albanian proverbs, if you didn't know, are very different from our proverbs. Our proverbs are terse and practical, like "Don't count your chickens till they're hatched" or "Many hands make light work". Albanian proverbs are more poetic and linger in the mind longer, even though they seem to have no practical use at all in real life. Anyway, see for yourself with this new selection...

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Celibacy used to be a way of life. Nowadays, it's just something to try after you've tried everything else.

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Three things to avoid: a man wearing a suit, a woman wearing sunglasses in her hair and a dog wearing a muzzle.

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The first Christmas card always comes from someone you weren't going to send a card to.

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There is nothing quite so sad or so useless as a completed crossword puzzle.

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Abdication is a one-way ticket. There is no word meaning the opposite of "abdicate".

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The man who thinks that the answer to the problem of not having enough time for breakfast is to have breakfast before he goes to bed the night before has got more problems than he thinks he has got.

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When you wash your hands in someone else's kitchen, you always dry your hands on the wrong thing.

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When you hear a princess preaching against land mines, remember that until quite recently her forebears were happily setting man-traps on their own land.

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What do crowds of actors murmur in countries where rhubarb is unknown?

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Three people to avoid: a man holding a clipboard who just wants to ask you a few questions, a bishop in a bad temper and anyone who claims to remember your mother well.

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What makes a town child different from a country child is that he has never seen a cow being milked - and the same is true today of country children.

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The 18th century had the right idea about wigs; they tried to make them look as different from real hair as possible.

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The most law-abiding and careful motorists are driving stolen cars.

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One of the sad things about Alzheimer's Disease is that nobody can remember who Alzheimer was.

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Just before we sell a car, we polish and clean it into a state where, suddenly, we no longer want to sell it.

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Has anybody ever cooked the recipe printed on a tea cloth?

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To come last in a race is no disgrace, for a horse.

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Everyone wants press coverage, but nobody wants press treatment.

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A playwright who condemns a character to be killed in the first 10 minutes of a play should remember that he has also condemned an actor to wait two hours for the curtain call.

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The secret of the English is that when they are called Sassenach, or limey, or anything, they never feel belittled.

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How did the man who made the first sausage know what it was going to look like ?

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Fellow passengers' newspapers are always more interesting than fellow passengers' books.

All these proverbs are taken from the Great Big Book of Albanian Proverbs, 1998 edition.

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