PUTRAJAYA: Working in a big, bustling city has its drawbacks - from the symphony of sounds with cars honking and drivers swearing, to the never ending traffic jams and zero parking.
To survive, a `city girl` needs to master the art of slipping through the jams and winning the `first car to honk at the front driver when the traffic-lights turn green` psychological war.
But imagine a city where there are no problems with traffic, where the crime rates are low and people get to spend quiet weekends, strolling along parks and around lakes.
A city that infuses green elements and modern technology, with architectural wonders and eco-friendly themes.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Putrajaya.
It takes a while to get used to it. All the wide, open spaces, with beautiful buildings and a green landscape that includes 13 parks and a lake and wide variety of wildlife.
Putrajaya was built to be the federal administrative centre, a planned city that encapsulates everything a great city should be- with plenty of amenities for residents and attractions for tourists.
The brainchild of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, it was planned with 38 per cent of the land reserved for green spaces in line with his vision for it to be a city in a garden.
Putrajaya Corporation president Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat said the central spine of the city was a 100 metre by 4.2km boulevard, to replicate Champs Elysees of Paris.
“It was the main inspiration for Tun Mahathir's architect,” he said.
For residents, Putrajaya is known for its comfort and accessibility.
Nor Ezah Rosli, 35, who has been living in Putrajaya since 2004, said the place was well suited for those with families.
“We can bring our children to the parks on weekends, take them cycling or to the swimming pool. Everything is near and convenient for us,” she said.
Not just for those with kids, the city is also a place for young adults, despite the almost non-existant nightlife.
“Sure it's a bit more quite at night, but it gives me time to relax and enjoy the peace. I can also jog at night without worrying too much,” said 26 year-old Husna Adam.
For me, the attraction is not the Parisian atmosphere with the Champs Elysees-esque boulevard, nor the lack of traffic jams but the sight of happy families on weekends which reminds me that life in a city can be hectic yet calming at the same time.
Whether for peace and serenity, or for the perfect place to bring up families, Putrajaya has a lot to offer and more to give.