Monday, January 30, 2006

the european spy thriller et moi.

[recorded in the stream of consciousness style because i am delirious with fever and can't tell what i am typing or whether it makes any sense]


having spent the past few days consuming spy thriller after thriller - both on screen and in print - i have noticed that is de rigeur for spies to do the first class version of the backpackers tour of europe - you basically can't be in europe unless you have clandestine meetings / kill someone in rome, paris and london. as a tourist in europe, i highly recommend the same three cities too. in fact, me and these great spies and assassins seem to have rather similar travel itineraries - i have also found myself standing in the shadow of the eiffel tower, talking to a suspicious illegal, crossing check qoint charlie in berlin on a lonely night, and running through the crowds of rome's central station with the venice train to catch. Except where these people have a favourite watering hole where they drink scotch and sigh about their tough manly lives, i spend my time at the best ice-cream shop of the city trying new flavours. And when taking the famous rome-venice train I didn't see the same girl i had once loved but who i thought had been killed by ETA terrorists in the costa brava, but amar and akbar did see a really beautiful girl with a little dog who spoke to us in Italian but who turned out to be Desi, and whose protectice kiwi boyfriend then ushered away from us. We too have known harry's bar in venice, and also intimate dining places in paris, and had chance encounters on london streets, and been attacked from behind in the darkness of the night, only to foil adversaries with our quick thinking (i screamed so loudly he got scared okay), hung out in dodgy eateries where odd sorts mingle, but we rarely walked away with the beauty. We have seen our comrades (dorm-mates anyway) arrested for crimes they didn't commit, we too have loved and lost (though not to renegade KGB killers), and also slept and lost (our luggage). We have been held up for questioning at airports and had the validity of our documents doubted. We have known what it is like to spend a night in a grim police building, waiting to be interrogated. We have been in those smoky cafes of amsterdam and had strange men offer illegal contrabands in hushed whispers (cocaine! viagra!). We have taken wrong turns in strange towns and seen things we were not meant to see. We too found that we were alone, with no place to call home, and while watching the film Munich on Saturday when the hero said to his wife, you are my home, we admired his sentiments and sighed (oh yes, we may look dodgy, but we are romantics too), and blushed when she said that sounds so corny. And yet here I am through my first Ludlum (awful, really, but hey it's nice to read about what my life would have been like if I had not just been a tourist but a lethal maverick spy in all those places I was visiting), anyway, the woman who was dead and who thought her lover had killed her ...wait had tried to kill her...the plot is quite convoluted, but not that convoluted...anyway, she just said to him: Now that we are together, I am home. As I have been saying all through this weekend of spy-thrilling: Deja vu.