Not all those who wander are lost.

Bookkeeping

This afternoon I noticed Yusuf working on the balance sheet for the hostel. He was flipping back & forth in a notebook, scribbling down the amounts received from Travel Agency referrals, one page devoted to each Travel Agency. The thought occurred to me, as it did at the hostel in Istanbul, that all bookkeeping appears to be done by hand.

Yusuf is the hostel manager, has a 4-year degree, and is very comfortable navigating a computer. Out of curiosity, I asked him why he doesn’t use his laptop for the bookkeeping. Pointing to the papers, he said “This is easy to hide from the government. We just put it away. A computer, you cannot hide that from the government.”

It was presented so casually that I can’t help but think this is normal, similar to a waiter who only reports a portion of their tips. Yet this is on a massive scale – a hostel with 200 beds.

There are so many interesting observations here, I don’t even know where to start. The lack of honest books, the fear that the government is watching, the margin of error involved with anything done by hand, the lack of anything with a “fixed” price…I could go on and on.

Or I could just chalk it up to yet another interesting cultural observation that enables this country, and its businesses, to be so hospitable.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s