Famous Albanian proverbs - or the triumph of madness over meaning

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The Independent Online
Today I bring you more thoughts and sayings from the `Great Book of Albanian Wit and Wisdom'. What is Albanian wit and wisdom? Well, whereas an English proverb is brisk and sensible, an Albanian proverb is one which doesn't quite yield up its message at first glance. Nor at second or third glance, neither ...

Tea is the only meal named after a drink.

What is the difference between sticking a stamp upside down on a letter, and sticking a letter upside down on a stamp?

You can share a bed with someone but you cannot dream the same dreams.

No man is an island. However, some men are rocky peninsulas who are regularly cut off from the mainland twice a day, during breakfast time and at cocktail hour.

To keep the dust out of her hair, a cleaning woman need only put on a knotted handkerchief. To achieve the same object, a chef has to put on a white hat a foot high.

Nobody ever smiles in a self-portrait.

The swallow is said to be able to sleep while flying. But that's nothing compared with human capabilities. In the act of flying, Homo sapiens can also eat, drink, buy duty-free objects and then go to sleep during a movie with earphones on, simultaneously snoring with his mouth wide open.

A chef is not an artist, but a performer. His tragedy is that he is forced to work in a place where there is no audience.

Which came first, skipping or the skipping rope?

Next time your account is well in credit, write to your bank and tell them their borrowing is at an unacceptably high level.

The one person we can never recognise from behind is ourself.

Cookery programmes on television are not devised to bring cookery to the audience, but to bring an audience to the cook.

A dog which refuses to fetch a stick is not necessarily stupid or disobedient. He may be a very intelligent dog which has learnt that if he does fetch the stick, it will only be thrown back to the same place again.

Nobody knows where the wind comes from, says the poet. But only a poet would want to know.

The reason the car replaced the horse was not that it went further or faster, but that you could buy it on hire purchase.

Rugby players often resort to fisticuffs, but a boxing match never degenerates into a scrum or line-out.

Posterity is the name we give to the people who tear down and blow up the things we have been carefully saving for them.

Whoever it was said that you can't judge a book by its cover was not a graphic artist.

Being English is a duty, being Welsh is a struggle, being Scottish is hard work but being Irish is a full-time performance.

A painter is luckier than a sculptor. He only has to depict his subject from in front.

What does a blind pianist call the black and white keys?

Would you like to know more about the wonderful world of `Albanian Wit and Wisdom'? Just send me a blank cheque -and don't forget to sign it.