Reading for Friday 7/11/08
The comedy doesn’t let up in this chapter as Nikolai decides to sort out Mitenka, the wily steward who has been ripping off his father. I just love the little details in this chapter. The peasants all secretly delighted to see Mitenka getting it. Nikolai’s dad the next day explaining that, actually, Mitenka was right all along, you just didn’t understand the book-keeping. Nikolai knows that he’s really letting Mitenka off the hook, but by going along with his father, he doesn’t really have to think about a subject that he doesn’t understand any better than his dad.
Then, finally, his mother comes up saying that Boris’ Mum owes them money, and Nikolai – not having a clue what he is doing – rips us the promissory note, makes his mother cry with happiness, and feels like he’s done the right thing.
But then again, as we read this, are you any better with your finances? Do you put things on credit card, with a vague feeling that you’ll find the money later? Have you put some thought as to how you’re going to save for retirement? I’m not sure what the exact figures are on personal credit card debt, and the number of baby boomers with no savings – but a complete lack of money skills isn’t just something that died out with the Russian aristocracy.
Anyway, it’s okay. Nikolai has decided to put his time to a far more useful exercise – wolf-hunting.