So whilst I am totally swamped at work and frantically trying to finish all the PR-related stuff for our ‘re-branding’ on the 1st of October, I have also gone undercover on a long-term secret mission with a secret identity and everything. I am not really sure how it happened, but it must have involved booze.
I have a new friend. I will call him Boris because I don’t think he will like it. Boris oversees a business in the region and I am going into their Prague operation as a customer, sort of like a mystery shopper, but much more complicated. And the catch is that it will force me to exercise more than I have exercised at any time since I left healthy California for beer-drenched Bohemia over 15 years ago.
Before I even met Boris (we have mutual friends in London), I knew that he was in the business of health clubs. The first or second time we went out, I said that I would like to start doing something to get into better shape again. Boris latched onto the idea of me going into his club, and by now it is painfully clear to me that Boris never realised I was just making conversation.
On Monday night we started laying out our strategy. Yesterday, which was Tuesday, I called and made an appointment for an informational visit and tour. When I went to the club in the afternoon, I saw Boris and had to pretend I didn’t know him. Within an hour or two after that, Boris had arranged my membership under a made-up name, although I can’t at all remember why he decided that I couldn’t use my real name. He also put me in contact with a personal trainer, but she knows me by my real name so that she can consult with my physiotherapist. It is all rather complicated, but of course that’s the nature of going undercover.
I popped into the club today to pick up my membership card. The girl that had tried to sell me a membership yesterday and who knows my real name saw me, but I don’t think she really looked at me to recognise me because I was speaking Czech instead of English. But I know that one day I am going to be called two different names at once, I’ll be making up a story about a twin sister, and things are just going to be a bit awkward. I wonder if James Bond ever worries about stuff like this.