Favorite thing: Not many countries has its diplomatic and consular missions in Moldova. I would say that there are few of them, includind such countries as: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Poland. Romania, Russia, USA, Turkey, Ukraine and Hungary. There are also some representations of some international organisations such as EU, UN or UNICEF. Some countries has its missions outside but they are accredited to Moldova.
Moldovans, throughout their history, have had to give up much but have managed to maintain strong family ties, traditions, a rich culture, and a love of beauty and the arts. As foreigners interact in business and social situations, they will come to know and enjoy warm Moldovan friendships.
As with anywhere in the world, Moldovans are pleased when foreigners make an attempt to speak their language rather than be expected to speak the foreigner's language.
Notwithstanding their difficult socioeconomic situation, Moldovans always try to dress conservatively and well, whether in formal or sports clothes. Thus, it is appreciated if foreigners dress similarly.
Moldovan women, usually, do not shake hands and, in either a business or a social setting, a nod of the head is acceptable when greeting or meeting a woman, or women. By the same token when a man greets a male acquaintance, with a handshake, it would be impolite not to shake the hand of all the males in the group as well.
In a wine producing country such as Moldova it has traditionally been considered impolite not to drink the entire glass of wine if the host/hostess offers a toast. Since many toasts are typically offered throughout a social or business dinner, the requirement of this custom has tended to be altered for westerners who might choose not to drink alcohol as a matter of principle, health or religion. Moldovans are not so surprised, therefore, and do not seem to be offended to see a glass of water or juice raised instead for the toast.
In Moldova shoes that are worn out of doors are removed when entering a home or apartment. Moldovans normally wear slippers for indoor use. If a foreigner is invited as a guest, he/she may want to carry a heavy pair of knit socks or slippers to wear indoors in place of his/her outdoor shoes.
It is customary in Moldova for the person celebrating his/her birthday to provide an array of food and drink for the work place and at home. It is also customary, when invited to a home, to take flowers or a small gift.
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
Stefan Cel Mare is the most loved Moldavian Ruler ever...
The most glorious time of Moldova was in his time (1457 - 1504).
In our days he is a live legend, and sometimes people even pray for him to come back to see what's happening to Moldova and to punish the actual rulers, to re-establish peace and prosperity.
In his time he defended the country from various invaders: Tatars, Turks, Polish, Hungarians. He NEVER lost a singe war, and after each battle he won he would build a monastery or a church.
Even the mighty Ottoman Empire in it's most powerfull years had to pay tribute to Moldova after loosing the war. The Pope of Rome called Stefan The Great the most faithul defender of Europe and Christianity. He stopped for more then 50 years the massive invasion of turks into Europe.
Fondest memory: Stefan Cel Mare said: "Moldova is not mine, and is not yours, it is for children of our childrens!"
The actual monument I was going to tell you about is located in the heart of Chisinau and was build in 1924 by moldavian architecture A.Plamadeala. The base of the monumet is made out of simple stone from Cosauti region (like the fortresses he build). From 1924 (the time when Moldova became part of Great Romania again and was eliberated from Russian ocupation) to 1944 (when Soviet Union captured Moldova and moved back the monument of Stefan Cel Mare), to 1989 (when the monument became the place from where the independence movement has started) to ourdays (when so-called communists regained power) - the monumet and Stefan is looking at it all, AND ONE DAY HE WILL COME BACK!
Nice and green!
Take a look yourself at this picture and click on it to see all the details!
Fondest memory: Also if you want to check the interactive map of Chisinau youcan browse it from here:
Favorite thing: Moldovans, Romanians, Russians, Gagauzians, Jews, Gypsies... They all are worth more time than this life can afford to look into their wonderful ways of life. The ethnic blend is wonderful. If you do not spend time with at least 10 native Moldovans people, you should be shot. I am not joking. I think that you have wasted your time. Moldova is not rich in money, but rich in people. Invest in some of that! It will reap a large reward.
For anyone wishing to visit Chisinau I can pass on details of a local contact.
HE, is 22 and knows the city reasonably well, very useful when buying tickets and for arranging taxis over the phone. MISHA is not an official guide, and his knowledge of many things will be limited, but for an escort/fixer he is a very useful person to have around, or indeed on the end of the telephone.
There are several legends concerning the Chisinau origin. According to one of them, settlement was founded near the spring called “Chisinau” in a picturesque place in Codri, on the bank of the river Bac. The earliest mention of Chisinau refers to 1466. In this very year the Moldovan ruler, Stephen the Great, had granted a special letter to his uncle, Vlaicul, by which the former had transferred the right of possession of the present Chisinau’s territory.
At the beginning of the 19th century it was a small village of 7,000 inhabitants. In 1812 it was occupied by Russia, who made it the capital of the province of Bessarabia.
In its modern view Chisinau was founded in the beginning of the 19th century, with the Russians allocated resources and money to consolidate their presence in Bessarabia. In this context, the first general plan of the city was authorized in 1834 and an “imperial” townscape started to shape the city, with large boulevards, administrative buildings and churches built in a combination of classical and romantic styles.
Favorite thing: Outstanding Italian architect who had designed and built the most significant edifices that form the Chisinau unique look of the 19th century. Benardazzi appreciated the decorative characteristics of the natural white coquina quarried in the Chisinau outskirts. Before that all the constructions were plastered, and only in the end of the 19th century came into use the neat stone-work with the redbrick insertions. This kind of fronts design became the local peculiarity.
Favorite thing: 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.
Favorite thing: water in chisinau is not good. even in the hotels you have to look for extern mineral water. I´ve brushed my teeth only one time - in a three-star-hotel(!) - this was my only contact with water from the pipe. and all the night I could not sleep, because I´d to go to toilett every hour. but generally I do not have problem with light dirty water... better buy mineral in the supermarket!
Favorite thing: Historical museum is realy good place to visit, and main street because there is a realy good wine shops and interesting cheap restaurants. Also near main city street is park where you can buy soviet medals, painting and other interest souvenirs.
There are many old streets right in the center of the city.
Here is one of them. Many artists painted it...
Favorite thing: The city learns to build in a new manner. When Soviet times are gone, new buildings appear here and there... like flowers in the dirt.