Marc Liblin was six when he started dreaming in an unknown language. Soon Marc speaks this language fluently without knowing where it comes from or whether it even exists. Thirty years later, Marc still did not know the origin of his mysterious dream tongue. Researchers at the local French university took interest and spent two years researching the strange vocabulary. Nothing. They took Marc down to the bars by the harbour, in hope that a sailor might recognize the speech from their travels. A bartender recognized Marc’s tongue. He led Marc to the widow of a local sailor. The woman was originally from a tiny Polynesian islands called Rapa Ito. When Marc who never even travelled outside of Europe greeted her in his dream speech, she immediately replied in her native Rapa Ito dialect. For hours, the two conversed fluently.

We dream of islands. Waving palms, blooms of reef, piles of shells, sweet waves and native, mysterious tribes. After Japan we explored Formosa and this Thursday, after six weeks we fly to our next paradise; Sumatra. We are eager to visit Lake Toba, hike the jungle in search of orang-utans, explore Pulah Weh and the Mentawai Islands.

We are aware of the downside of island life, the isolation, disconnect, high price tag and sunburn. In the Pacific, Cook found his way to Hawaii. He was declared a god when he arrived in Hawaii. Just a little later, they ate him alive with some fava beans. Hell is an island. But still we call it paradise and paradise calls to us. The romantic secluded island idea appeals. It’s not what you know. It’s what you believe. So in five more days’ city life in Taipei we go. Sumatra.

Marc Libin married the woman from Rapa Ito. They moved to her native island, where he worked as a schoolteacher. His children don’t dream in French.