In English speaking countries, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. In others like France, you cannot have butter and the money for butter at the same time. Or in Italy (and this is no joke), you cannot have a barrel full of wine and a drunk wife!
But in Switzerland, every child knows that you cannot have “the five cent coin and the bun”! This proverb stems back to the beginning of the 20th century when a roll of bread (“Weggli”) presumably cost 5 cents (“Foifer”).
Germans would most likely keep dancing at two weddings simultaneously before understanding what their Swiss neighbors are talking about. “Weggli” is very much a Helvetic expression, and a so-called “Foifer-und-Weggli-Lösung” an attempt to integrate all positive aspects into one solution.
How very Swiss!
The point is all the same: You cannot have two good things at once when they are in direct correlation to each other.
So, do you know how other countries manage to describe the “Foifer und Weggli” paradox?
I’m afraid I don’t, but I do know that you cannot have your chocolate AND a small-ish ass, and that is VERY much related to Switzerland. Surely they’d welcome a new expression coined by an expat?
Nice observation, Elisa :-) Thanks for your comments!
Germans dancing at two weddings? I always thought that was a Yiddish saying: “With one tuchus, you can’t dance at two weddings.”
In Dutch one could say:
“je kunt niet van twee walletjes eten” – you cannot eat from two sides (of a river bank). The proverb goes back to the situation of a cow, standing in a ditch (with no water in it), eating grass from both sides.
Great input, Twan! It sounds like an expression the Swiss should have invented, with cows and all…