Would you like to be a secret agent?

It is reported that the Secret Intelligence Service (that’s MI6 to you and me) is mounting a recruitment drive this week to attract budding James Bonds, though without the licence to kill. Like its sister agency, the domestic Security Service (or MI5), it wants to “broaden its staff base” to “better reflect the ethnicity of the community we serve”.
Now I like to ask foreigners where they come from and try to respond by using a few words of greeting in their language. I do this in taxi cabs, restaurants, shops and the like.
I’m often asked how I know the language (of course, I don’t – I’ve just memorised a few greetings from my travels). Sometimes, if I’m feeling mischievous, I say that I used to be a spy and had to know a lot of languages because I never knew the destination of my next mission.
It’s clear from the responses that some people think this is a likely explanation – but I think that I’m too old now to be a spy (I’ve seen “Casino Royale” and I can’t run like that). However, if you’d like to consider joining MI5 or MI6, the BBC web site has interviews with some young operatives to give you an idea of what is wanted.