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Bought a Hole, Many Puns

You and your lovely lady are the proud owners of a muddy hole, from which one day shall grow an apartment. Also, mixing people from different countries makes for some very punny-funny moments.

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0.37% of a hole

You are currently the proud co-owner of a hole. It shall one day be the base of a fancy 19-floor apartment building in, but for now it's full of muddy labourers. Surprisingly, no one wants to visit when you ask do you wanna see my hole?

My hole has a webcam

Together with your lovely lady, you decided to try buying yourselves away from ground floor rental living. The process was fast, all happening under a month: see it appear online, call and visit immediately, meet the bank and send a deposit. Even so, two thirds of the apartments were already sold! The construction consisting of two buildings of about 100 apartments each is planned to be completed mid. 2015.

North east and west towers

19 floors of paperwork

It is quite normal in Swissland to buy based on plans. With its wealthy population, low interest (2%) and no space it's a sellers market. Everybody claims it's cheaper to have a mortgage and maintain debt to save tax than ever own outright. Your lovely lady did the extensive calculation to check this fact, and it seems the banks are either spinning lies to make money or everyone employs tricky tax accountants. It'll be almost two years before you can move in - almost enough time to do all the bloody paperwork.

Mock-up of the interior, including fixie bike

Loggia trouble, it's Bad so Reduit

This new apartment building is Implenia's (Switzerland's biggest building company) premiere project, and they're marketing themselves as such. Live with higher expectations is the slogan being painted at Zurich airport and on every second tram. You couldn't care less for their marketing, but are thoroughly amused at their attempt to be classy. For example: room names on the floor plans exchanged for fancy French equivalents to tizz it up. Your sister's interpretation of the floor plans was good for a laugh: "So the bathroom is Bad, so you need to Reduit?" Apparently Loggias are the in-thing now, so you get one too.

The apartment plans, inc. Loggia, Bad and Reduit

You're not totally against all the fanciness. You're very happy with the floor-flush shower and its 80x80cm rainforrest shower head - let's see someone steal all the water now! The 2.2m long LED illuminated mirror with ambient splash lighting above the seamless corian bathroom surface with integrated basin and invisible overflow escape sounds nice. The comfort air circulation system, which wafts fresh minergie heat-exchanger warmed/cooled air into the living spaces and siphons stale air out of the working spaces, creating a dynamic diffusion throughout the apartment should be refreshing. The floor to ceiling glass sliding walls leading to the 22 square meter southern- and 11 square meter northern Loggia (recessed balcony) with full-length glass balustrades must give a lot of light. Or finally, the residents' roof-top terrace with low splash lighting below the various sitting areas could be a hit in summer. Overall, you're looking forward to moving in.

View from the dining area through some huge windows

Zweikäufe, and other horrible puns

Train-people are special. Some are so unnervingly fascinated by rolling stock that it borders on a fetish (ferosexualism), while the majority are somewhat autistic. You have a college at work who sits on the pinnacle of train-fascination. He lives at home with his mother (who buys his shirts) and has a train set in his basement. He goes on train trips just to be on trains, and sometimes sits at stations and sketches trains. He also likes to make puns - train puns usually. One golden one was:

"Our Einkauf is too slow, and we're in Verzug. We need Zweikäufe!"

Einkauf means procurement and can be read as one buy. Verzug has the word train in it. Zweikäufe, the "joke", means two buys. Yes, it's hilarious in a dad-joke kinda way.

Pleasuring Hitler

One evening during a game of Dominion with Sandra & Stefen someone asked about your welding course. It wasn't sure if it'd even happen at that stage and you'd resided yourself to be happy with what you had, so you replied:

"Ich befriedige mich mit was ich auf der Hand habe"

You literally said: I'll pleasure myself with what I have on my hand. Dear lawd... Lol's were had, pants wet. Apparently lots of French people make the same gramatical mistake.

Later that evening you asked about their weekend plans in the mountains. They wanted to do a hike with their mountain guide to celebrate his birthday. You chimed in with:

"Ah, der Geburtstag des Fürhers!"

Oh, Hitler's birthday! Although this time 100% grammatically correct, that particular word is only really used for Hitler. People fell off their chair laughing.

French Le 'otdogs

French are terrible linguists. Apart from their unmistakable accents - such as the inability to pronounce h's - there are certain grammatical habits they can never shake. The gender of a noun is especially confusing since it differs between countries and changes based on sentences structure. You once had a German class about noun genders where a girl asked what the word hhh-ott'dug meant, to which the teacher said:

"Let me translate it: hhhott'dug is 'ottdog."

The girl's eyes opened wide as a lightbulb of clarity seemed to appear above her head. House is 'ouse! Hamburger is 'amburger! My god...

Some French people just have moments of glorious unintentionally-sexual comedy gold. Speaking about two girls (one his wife), one French friend said:

"They met in the sac[k]. They have a lot of fun in there together!"

He meant to say the acronym S.A.C. (Swiss Alpine Club) rather than imply sexy-times.

In a hotel lift in Lusanne:

"In case of fire warm reception."
Give alarm - Warm reception

Company communique

There were email communications at work about a bolted part without contact surface coating. The drawing was marked in big red letters with:

"Screwing area"

Zürich council recently erected a sheltered area for prostitutes to conduct their business, called Verrichtungsbox (Performance Box). You replied asking if that was the screwing area being referred to. Managerial lol's were communicated.


Company names are prone to being amusing too. FAG, for example, is a respected bearing and gearbox supplier. Wimpy is a construction company. And finally, the Transex truck which rolls past work about once a week never fails to illicit a grin. Europe is the land of mistranslation and it is hilarious.