La Salle des pas perdus.

La Salle des pas perdus.

lah SAAL day PAH pair-DEW.

The waiting room.

Not a little waiting room at the doctor’s office, packed with elbow-to-elbow chairs, but a big hall like the central area of an old-fashioned train station, a courthouse, an airport. The marble walls and pillars, the tall arched ceilings, the echoes: that’s la salle des pas perdus. A place where people may sit or pace for hours, lost in their thoughts, or just lost.

And what does it mean, literally? The hall of lost steps, or the hall of wasted steps. Because you can faire les cent pas there all day, wasting large amounts of time.

Maxime Le Forestier, Coralie Clément, and Monade, two French singers and a French rock group, have all recorded songs called “La Salle des pas perdus”. (You can play samples–or complete tracks–of all three of them on a variety of websites.) The songs are all wildly different from each other, but they all seem to have to do with lost love. Certainly an evocative title!

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