1980, West Berlin

I was fifteen when my father and I were invited to stay with Claudia in Berlin. Claudia - a veritable smorgasbord of Ayran - was the 3rd mistress of a Sheik, a client of my father's. We arrived by the Sheik’s private jet and were searched by hatchet-faced Berliner women who were certainly born from the frozen ground and not warm flesh.

Two hours later we arrived at a tiny flat in West Berlin. Turns out I was actually staying with Claudia’s sister and husband. Who happened to be naturalists. Literally no clothes ever in the confines of the flat! I tried to be cool about it and failed.

One afternoon the phone rang while they were both at work. Turns out to be an English friend of theirs, let's call him ‘Charlie’.  He invited me on an adventure behind the Wall in forbidden East Berlin. We were trailed by bitter, lined men in trench coats and battered trilbys. Cheap noir versions of 1950’s detectives.

Back in West Berlin and intrigued by ‘Charlie’ I examined his passport. He was a ’salesman’ who spoke six languages including Russian and Arabic and had been educated at Oxford... 

#justsaying #rebel #reallifespy


real life spy, cold war, the berlin wall