At one point in Sweet Darusya, Ivan took Darusya to the regional clinic for her headaches. The book noted that the doctor there had his "entire monthly pay" in his pocket.
I'm a little confused as to why that would be the case, though. Why might he have had his entire monthly pay in cash on his person in the middle of the work day like that? Were people routinely paid once a month and in cash in the USSR?
Also, what's the relevance of that fact in this context? Why would that have contributed to his refusal to treat Darusya?