An exclusive interview with Alex McLeish

Posted: July 8, 2011 in Expat foibles

Alex McLeish

Successful negotiations with Mr McLeish’s newly appointed agent allows us this morning to give you at least some of the inside story that has created such a sensation here in Jakarta Expat circles since the matter was first reported by on Tuesday.

The interview was conducted in Mr. McLeish’s small but cosy villa in the Ragunan area of South Jakarta.

Mr McLeish is a native of Muchalls near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and nearly forty five years of expatriation have failed to soften the accent known as Doric. We hope readers will at least get the drift of what Mr. McLeish is saying and seekers after nuance might even make use of this resource in their search for meaning.

NTJP Good morning Alex, and thanks first of all from us all at for giving us this interview at such short notice.
Alex Nae bother son, sorry aboot the mess, but wee ih maid choggin the TV, mah laptop and the jaga, the place is in a right state.
NTJP Erm, yes, thanks Alex. Perhaps we could move on to the recent events that have made you such a folk hero amongst the downtrodden expat community here in Jakarta.
Alex Aye, been a sight, jist fire awae.
NTJP Perhaps first you could tell us first about that fateful day on the Fatmawati Golf Course?
Alex Well, it was like I wiz playin’ mah usual Sunday mornin’ roond with the boys at Fatmawati ken; I ken it’s a shite course – more like a cooncil goat field that the neds would play, but it’s cheap and close to the hoos. Anyway, I’d lost a few balls and then on the twelfth, that’s the second time around on the blue tees yae ken, I pit a couple more o’ the buggers in the water and wiz setting up my third for a good thrash fan a bunch of heavies in them fancy uniforms came oot o naewhy and forced us to the groond. Norman (Kincade) lamped the big’un – a peachee right in his puss, but the rest the rest o’ us alder boys took a bit o’ a pounding – before I knew it I wiz on the deck, mooth full of cud like a coo! They hid us trussed up like turkeys, ken.
NTJP Did you have any idea why all this was happening?
Alex I had nae idea fit was happening, mah cultural visit visa still has six months tae run and I didnae think losing a few goufie balls is a crime here – expensive like, but nae a crime. Then it came to me that I hid sliced a big eem into that hoos on the far right of the fourth earlier on and the loon was hollerin some like a dafty.
NTJP At what point did you learn of the real intention of what turned out to be the commercial law enforcement cadre of Jakarta Police?
Alex To be honest, it wizney until the day affter when the lawyer loon finally showed up. They’d been whiterring awa to me in their ain heathen tongue but I had nae idea fit they was spikin.
NTJP How long have you been here now, Alex?
Alex Meer than thirty years, ya ken, but I ken fit ye are spikin, I’ve never really picked up on the lingo here too much, da really need it if hiv got the patter, though I can say twee mere beers and good mornin’!!
NTJP How was the food in the jail, Alex?
Alex Affae shite, nooght but that boiled rice and veggies shite you widdnae gie to your beasts. Luckily one a mah mates visited and brought in a Micky-Ds Special Cheeseburger Packet supper. It was cald by the I got it but at least I could scoff the wee bass. Rightee, I’m aff, meeting some of mah mates fir a wee banter in Highway to Elle (a notorious Blok-M bar – ED).
NTJP Erm, well, many thanks for your time, Alex, I have many more questions if you would be good to continue the interview tomorrow?
Alex Nae bother atta son, but nae in’i mornin’, and nae doot we’ll be deeing mare than bletherin with the quinnies tonight.

Any help that can be provided by our Scottish readers would be well appreciated, meanwhile we have contacted the British Embassy for support and apparently they have a lady translator on the staff who hails from Affleck, Aberdeenshire. Unfortunately for us she is on a one week Pancasila course which works out at exactly one day per sila, though heaven only knows how you can spend a whole day discussing the meaning and ramifications of there being only one God.

We plan to continue the dialogue with Mr Mcleish tomorrow when, amongst other important issues, we will be asking the questions on the lips of many readers, “how did you manage to get a dozen TaylorMade (tm) R11s past customs?” and “if they are so good, why do you put so many balls in the water?”.

  1. A number of readers have asked about Ken and what his role in the whole affair is. Following consultation with our Rio de Janeiro stringer, who hails from Aberdeen, we can report that in fact it is in not the name of a person but rather means “what” in the local patois. For example, ken fit I mean?” would translate as “know what I mean?”.

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