'Penang The Perfect Home'
 
 
Determined to find a relaxing second home to spend their retired life outside Japan, Kiyokatsu and Yoko Takai toured various countries to seek the perfect city to live in.
 
They went for long holidays in places such as Hawaii, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia. And then they found Penang, their ideal home.
 
Although they knew little about the island and speak no local languages, the couple have enjoyed their last two years here.
 
Kiyokatsu, 87, a retired factory general manager and the current president of Taichi Fortune Telling Society in Japan, said it was the climate and high standard of living that attracted him.
 
“We were here three years ago on a month-long holiday and I fell in love with the warm weather and friendly people,” he said.
 
A year later, the couple decided to leave their tele-fortune telling business to his son and signed up for the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme.
 
Kiyokatsu said they were able to enjoy a financially carefree life in Penang with their savings and monthly pensions.
 
“The situation would be very different if we were to stay in Japan because the living cost there is terribly high,” he said.
 
The couple is currently staying at a rented apartment in Tanjung Tokong but Kiyokatsu said they planned to buy their own place soon.
 
“At first, it was a challenge to adapt to a new environment at our age, especially when we don't understand any of the local languages,” he laughed.
 
His wife, Yoko, 64 said they were taking English courses provided by their MM2H agent, Tropical Resort Lifestyle (MM2H) Sdn Bhd, every weekend.
 
“Together with some body language, we have no problems shopping, travelling and dining outside,” she said.
 
When it comes to local food, Yoko said nothing could beat hoo moi (fish porridge) and nasi goreng (fried rice).
 
 
Source :The Star 19/06/2007 Close Window