Friday September 21, 2012
Retire from the city
Story and photos by CHOONG MEK ZHIN
YOU are all done with work for the rest of your life and have entered retirement — a word that is either greeted with open arms, regret or resignation.
In countries such as the US, it is common to plan a retirement and settle in a nice, suitable town filled with like-minded people. Most Malaysians are just happy to be able to withdraw their EPF savings to pay off their loans when they reach retirement age.
After that, comes a quiet life interspersed with the occasional holiday and visits from children who have flown the nest.
Retirement these days is starting to seem more like just another job status, or a lack of one.
But a small group of retirees show StarMetro just what being in the golden years can mean.
At their picturesque home at a barely-noticed place called Genting View Resort — opposite Gohtong Jaya, Pahang — their day starts early when the air is crisp and invigorating.
Some would indulge in morning walks along the gentle slopes surrounding their homes before moving on to a qigong session in the Japanese garden.
“It might look like a slow-paced activity but surprisingly, I ended up sweating a lot at the end of 30 minutes. We finished just in time before the sun starts to shine directly on our side of the hill,” said one 66-year-old retiree.
He shared that they while away the mellow afternoons in the recreational room playing table tennis, an activity that invites plenty of friendly and competitive banter and laughs.
Many also choose to spend their time indulging in their interests which previously they had no time for.
In one apartment, many little curios as well as practical items such as a brightly coloured ceramic clock and woven baskets draw the attention of the eye before realising they were mostly handmade with lots of care and patience.
Situated in the middle of a lush green jungle, their home is also ideally situated for bird-watching and residents have spotted a herd of deer and wild boars pass by, close to the edge of the forest.
The environment is the epitome of greener pastures as the residents could relax at a little gazebo situated under the boughs of towering trees while taking in nature.
Situated 25 minutes away from the nearest toll plaza on the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway, Genting View Resort is quite central to a number of locations for good food.
“Like any Malaysian, food is a good motivator for us to get about.
“We have found a few places not too far for some good food we normally will not consider if we were still living in the Klang Valley,” said 54-year-old Shirley Tan.
About 20 minutes along the same expressway heading deeper into Pahang, is a small but popular Restaurant 168 in Kampung Bukit Tinggi that serves noodles with chicken wine gravy.
The same amount of time taken going down the other side of the mountain will lead to Batang Kali where one can savour some of Ken Kee Restaurant’s handmade claypot yam noodles with ribs and vegetable soup noodles.
Tan also recommended to sample durian ice-cream in Gohtong Jaya at Yik Kee Restaurant.
Her family and friends are hooked on to the dessert after the first bite.
A retiree also enjoys several benefits such as senior citizen prices for daily coach to One Utama from the Gohtong Jaya cable car station — a ride that takes about an hour.
Many resident there have sold off their Klang Valley homes to retire to their little utopia permanently with no regrets.
“It is a nice place. Quiet but not dead. Life here is simple,” said another retiree.
And after a lifetime of hard work, what could be more enticing than that?