I was thinking the other day about a sweet book I read a few years ago. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier, by Thad Carhart, has really stuck with me. It’s the memoir of American expatriate Carhart who develops a yen to get back into playing the piano while living in Paris’s Left Bank. He noticed Desforges Pianos while walking his children to school. The book gives a wonderful, wacky, warm look at the intricacies of trying to fit into life in Paris. The story highlights the difference between the North American “transactional” approach to business and the European relationship based approach. In time, Carhart gets not only a wonderful piano, chosen just for him, but also an entrée into a world of people who are passionate about music. It’s a must read if you’re thinking of spending some time in France and want to fit into the community or if you play, or ever played, the piano.
Today’s expression, taper dans le mille (tapay dahn luh meel), means to hit the bull’s eye, the way Carhart did with both the perfect piano and a warm group of friends.