Romania vs Russia
Chisinau/Kishinev and infact much of Moldova is torn between Romanian and Russian culture, you can hear both languages on the street. If you want to learn one, Russian is more useful but Romanian or Moldovan (as it is called here) is easier for Westerners.
Typical Moldovan Food
Given that Moldova is primarily an agricultural country, there is an abundance of meat, cabbage, apples, potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, and dairy products all of which are available all year around. A greater variety of both fruits and vegetables is available in the summer, including plums, strawberries, raspberries, a variety of grapes, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, and some lettuce.
Typical Moldovan dishes include fried meat, meat and rice stuffed cabbage, baked chicken, mamaliga (the national dish, made of cornmeal), borsch and a variety of other soups, salted or pickled fish, fried potatoes, boiled vegetables, cucumber and tomato salad, smoked meats, brinza (goat/sheep cheese), and a wide selection of Moldovan wines and champagnes. Except for salt, bay leaf, onion, garlic, there are relatively no seasonings and/or spices used in the food. A lot more animal fat, oil, butter, and mayonnaise are used than most westerners are accustomed to eating
Moldova is hardly set up to cater for tourists, and much of the area is covered in cultivated fields which limit the number of energetic outdoorsy activities you can indulge in. If you're an adrenaline junkie and really need a fix, there's a parachuting club above the open-air festival stage in Chisinau. Lake Valea Morilor, a sprawling park west of Chisinau, offers caneoing and paddleboat opportunities and is a great place to relax and write those long-promised postcards. But the best idea is to drink your way round Moldova. By the time you've visited all the wineries in Moldova and sampled all the sparkling red wines, cabernets, sauvignons, rieslings and port wines, Moldova will look like a tourist's paradise and you'll be thankful that there are so few things that require physical exertion or your undivided attention.
If you are looking for ...
If you are looking for recorded music , you should of course have a look at the major shops, where you may find the one or the other cd. And don't forget, that some of the music (e.g. from some Russian lables) may not be available in western countries.
But don't miss those smaller places , like the cassette shop in the underpass of Stefan cel Mare blvd. crossing Ismail str. When we asked for the more traditional kind of folk music, the vendor picked some nice examples of it and played it on his tape deck. We bought several cassettes there.
As you enter, the host will offer you a taste of some local wine. Take it and enjoy. Inside you will find a delightful decor and comfortable booths. However, during peak meal times it does become a bit crowded. The food is very good and their service is more than adequate. They have a small group of musicians who play traditional music. The music is very good, but do try to get a booth away from where they stand, otherwise you will not be able to talk to your dinner companions. Anything you get will be delicious