I’ve recently read John Le Carré’s book A Perfect Spy. It is a strange book. Maybe the word haunting is closer to the truth. After finishing I spent days trying to figure out what I thought about it. And to be honest, when one grows up on Sean Connery’s 007 and graduates with something like Sasha Baron Cohen’s The Spy one does start to wonder what it really takes to become the perfect spy. So I made this weird experiment: I googled it.

I began my meticulous research, but quickly found myself at a roadblock. I was laughing so hard I could hardly continue reading. I got advice to grow a beard (yeah, that would be subtle!), to experiment with lying and even to start stealing. I could just picture it: sneaking in to a home at night, getting caught by the police and blaming it all on WikiHow! Luckily the article did stop here and did not encourage me to get a gun in Chinatown.

So I thought, you know what? I watched a B movie or two in my life, I have looked at plenty of store shop windows and I do look in the mirror each morning. I have experience! Why not do it myself? Why not make a list of my own? So guys, here it goes: my comprehensive list of things to do if you want to become The Perfect Spy.

  1. Research your target. Learn as much as you can about your target. Google them, search the web, surf in the bay if you have to. Then remember to clear your cookies. Although, eating them is much nicer.

2. Lock onto your target. With your research you should have a clear understanding of our target’s whereabouts. Identify it and lock onto target. If they are in the company of others focus, don’t get confused, don’t mix them up. Targets, like cocktails should only be shaken, not stirred!

3. Follow your target. Follow them. Understand their routine, what they do, why they do it. If you need to follow them use an appropriate form of transportation and apply distance between yourself and your target. Remain unseen!

4. Surveillance. Bugs are a thing of the past! Use the most technologically advanced methods to collect information while remaining subtle and effective. Listen to conversations, take pictures, jot down occurrences. Learn to read lips. Stop watching Netflix!

5. Don’t get caught! But if you do, for goodness sake, play dumb!

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