//Pursue a sensual in Cambodia

Pursue a sensual in Cambodia

Several days ago, I got a chance to have a talk with a female doctor. She is a dermatologist who has been living in Paris for many years but has now decided to reside in Cambodia.
My first impression of her was that she was such a cute person. It might be impolite to call a grown-up woman as cute, but to my sensibilities, cute was the only word that could best describe her.
I was reading a book which was written by this doctor. Its content gave such a strong stimulus to me who had completely gotten used to Cambodian sensibility by that time. The book mainly advocates the concept of “Sensual”. So, what does “Sensual” mean? In her book, the doctor defines it as “An elegant wildness which is sharpened by the urbanized environment”.
I think only with the above definition, nothing will come to your mind. Somehow the atmosphere makes me feel that it is something that is still far away from normal life in Cambodia.
To make it easier to understand, in the Japanese language, we may explain it as a “frame” in which there is “discipline” at the base. Discipline here is not referring to the typical teachings, but it also includes one’s appearance and body movements. Especially when it is related to one’s appearance, the reasons that Cambodia is a hot country with a dusty environment and rainy season make Cambodian people tend to give priority to convenience and develop such habits as wearing T-shirts and short pants with beach sandals. In Japan, there are some days in summer that are even hotter than in Cambodia, but people never go out in beach sandals.
That is just the point that I would like to get your attention when I introduced this person and her book to you.
Discipline is something that is much influenced by the culture or sense of values of a particular country, while in a universal society, manners might be taught in a different way.
However, to have things in common with people is not something that you do for yourself but it is for people around you. For example at a party, this is considered to be a way to show your courtesy towards the hosts of the party and also towards the lady that is accompanying you to the party. At least, you need to be considerate in order not to cause any discomfort to your partners.
Nevertheless, how many people in Cambodia do you think are considerate about this? You shouldn’t think that it will be fine as long as you dress up in your suit. For example, although you are wearing a suit, if your suit is full of wrinkles or you are in a sweat without a handkerchief or a towel at hand, you will cause discomfort to your partners.
It is difficult to get everything done perfectly, but the important thing is whether you can keep the impression of cleanliness or not. The doctor also said in her book about the word “Tsumegaamai” (“to slack off toward the end” which has similar pronunciation in the Japanese language as “to be careless about one’s own fingernails”) means a gentleman who is gorgeous at a glance but with the black dirt under his fingernails…Especially, when you turn middle-aged, you shouldn’t neglect this kind of slackness.
In short, even if it is the same tousled hair, whether the tousled hair is caused by sleep or is naturally caused by a whole day’s work will make a complete difference.
It is true when I start to look at my surroundings with this kind of thought in mind. In such the same hot country, many of my great seniors who always keep the impression of cleanliness somehow give me the feeling of coolness.
Since there are such people who can manage to keep things in a proper way like this, the reasons that blame everything on being in Cambodia or the rain become a mere excuse.
Actually, after I read the doctor’s book and turn around to reflect on myself, I notice many things that I feel ashamed of myself. I hope that when I see this doctor again next time, I will become a person who won’t feel ashamed because of this kind of thing anymore.