Expat Magazine

Expat Life: Seeing Things

By Miss Footloose @missfootloose

What’s fun about expat life is seeing things. The little, ordinary things that are not ordinary to you, or that for some reason catch your foreign eye. I lived in Moldova for a couple of years, a small country in Eastern Europe. It is an easy, friendly place to live for an expat. It’s safe and it’s nice, be it not terribly exotic. But there are things to see, fun things, and amusing things. So here a few pictures of what caught my attention and made me smile:

Tasting room in Moldova

Now this is a fabulous room! No, it’s not a spaceship. It’s a wine tasting room deep underground at the Cricova winery. The decor hails from Soviet times. The wine cellar is enormous, 120 km (75 m) of roads in a former limestone quarry.


Just walking around town one day I came across these skinny things:

Moldova street scene

I have no idea who these girls were, or what they were doing, or had been doing. I’m only hoping it didn’t involve bending over in these dresses.


Don’t let it be said the Moldovans are a serious lot and have no sense of humor.

Chisinau tip

For the record, these public garbage containers (tips as you Brits call them) are emptied regularly and I’ve rarely seen an overflowing one.


Soon after we arrived in Moldova we went on the hunt for furniture. We visited many shops. Here’s one of them. And no, this is not the furniture we bought. I love looking at furniture in foreign countries. It’s a cultural experience.

Chisinau furniture shop

Since we’re on the subject of furniture, I’d like to show you a picture of the bedroom in our furnished apartment, the one we moved into after our expat house became uninhabitable because of Noah’s Flood.

Furniture in Moldova

It was the first time I slept between satin sheets!


Here a sign I happened to walk past one evening. My British friend actually pointed it out to me, so I whipped out my camera:

Romantic Sauna in Moldova

Just in case you’re wondering: This was a perfectly safe street in a nice neighborhood. Not sure how safe the Sauna Romantica would be.


I love markets of all sorts, and never fail to admire beautiful vegetables and colorful fruit, but here’s a picture of a stall I must have walked by countless times without really seeing it. Until one day I did.

Chisinau market dried fish

Dried and smoked fish is for sale everywhere, in supermarkets as well as in open markets like this one. In the supermarkets they are available whole as well as neatly sliced and packaged and are quite delicious as hors d’oeuvres.


I want to close here with a glass of wine, or rather ten of them. I was sitting in front of them, and quite loved all the colors. Sipping them wasn’t bad either.

Purcari wines

This was taken at the Purcari winery. Moldova has a wine culture and  has fabulous wineries which are great fun to visit. Wine tastings, of course, are a fun thing to do in Moldova.

So there you have it.

(Note: I posted this tale a few years ago but thought it had lost none of its entertainment value.)

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