JAKARTA: For 1992 Olympic badminton champion Susi Susanti, nirvana means her latest business with fellow former shuttler Elizabeth Latief in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. Both recently opened a reflexology and sports massage center in the area.
""It's our new business. We just opened it on May 5,"" Susi said recently. ""However, many people ask us if we also provide 'extra services' here ... we strongly denounce such things,"" in an apparent reference to the reputation that many massage parlors cum brothels have.
Susi and Elizabeth even put a Christian cross on the wall in the entrance way.
""We intentionally put it there so people don't have to ask us that same question again,"" Elizabeth said.
Since her retirement from badminton in 1999, Susi has been busy taking care of her three children and helping husband Alan Budikusuma run their distribution business of their own racket brand Aztec. She also runs a baby shop at the ITC Cempaka Mas in Central Jakarta.
To attract customers, they have distributed leaflets to passersby, called on other former shuttlers and their friends to try the service at the new health spa.
""We guarantee that the service here is good,"" Susi said. ""This is our business so we can survive ... We've had to work hard because the government does not provide us (badminton players) jobs or pensions,"" she jokingly said, followed by a burst of laughter from Elizabeth. -- JP