Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I’ve been back in Martuni since Thursday and things have been non-stop. Without a general manager and accountant, I’ve been keeping very busy and for that reason have not really logged about life here.

The beauty salon is doing better than I was expecting. Over October’s figures, we had a 40% increase in profit. It should also be noted that according to my workers, November is the slowest month.

Being that I have no accountant, I had to do this months accounting for the salon, which took in all about 4 hours to do. I had set up a receipt system, which made it very easy to plug in the numbers into an excel page, along with expenses.

I visited the tax office to find out how we have been paying our taxes and learned that we are paying quarterly. For our hair dresser, we pay a fixed 252 dram per working day and for our cosmetologist we pay 16.67% value added tax, which we can deduct any value added tax for supplies and electricity that she may incur. I have to explore what other options are available for the cosmetologist, as this month she paid 3 times more in taxes than the hair dresser and took home only a quarter of what the hair dresser made.

I also talked to the tax office about setting up a corner of our salon to sell hair paint, shampoo, perfume and other things that women may interested in purchasing. I had told my general manager about my desire to do this over a year ago, with an answer that it was no possible to do. Well I got a different answer from the tax office, which is that if I put up a wall (they suggested of glass, so people could see inside as to what we had for sale) and if we keep it under 10 square meters, we can pay a flat 1,000 dram a month tax and sell whatever and however much we want of product that we purchase with a receipt that reflects we paid VAT. For merchandise that we have no document for, we pay 5% of the selling price in tax. One other benefit of the “store” being under 10 square meters, we don’t have to have a cash register.

I will look into my options for putting up the wall and bringing in a showcase and some shelving. My salon manager has also suggested that we have a section of woman’s intimate apparel, of which in Martuni there really is not a real selection of.

Yesterday I also went to the gasification office and paid for the gas meter and labor to get natural gas in the salon. We are now burning wood, which for a beauty salon, is not exactly appealing, nor is it of help to me, since the wood has been coming from my house. They tell me that by the 15th, we should have our gas turned on.

I am now working on the lake problems. I’m not sure what the initial outcome is going to be, but am readying my self for the worst and am ready to take the mayor of Hadrout and those responsible for illegally giving him the lake to court if need be. Yesterday my guard at the lake reported that the mayor has sent his fisherman to the lake and they have removed fish with nets. I’ll keep a count of what he takes out and add it to my damages.

I’m also once again working on my book, this time a little bit more seriously. I have the general outline done and so far 61 chapters which are half written. I was originally going to only have 40 chapters, but can’t figure out which 21 chapters I will cut? On top of this, I have a few more chapters that I still want to add. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, since I really had my heart set on keeping this book under 300 pages, but now it looks like it could go well over 500 pages.

Anyway, I have to be back at the salon at 5pm, so this much is going to have to satisfy your hunger for life in Artsakh for now.

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