I spent five lovely days in Chisinau, and almost every moment of every day in the company of friends and colleagues. I had to work for a few days but could go in to my old office and catch up with my colleagues over a coffee in the kitchen. It was great! Everyone asked me if I thought a lot of things had changed since I lived there, but since I have been back almost every year since I moved to Washington in 2008, I’ve seen the changes that have taken place over these years. There were, however, two things that had happened since I was there in September. One was that there were recycling bins for plastic bottles all over town (and in use, as E pointed out), and the other was that “The Park With the Lake Without the Lake”, i.e. Valea Morilor, finally had gotten the lake back! (I wrote about it in 2008, you can see here how it looked then.) Otherwise, I have to say that most of the visible changes relates to food. New cafes and restaurants are popping up, and small snack and beverage vendors are everywhere, leading Moldova on the overweight and obesity path of other middle-income countries. Here are some photos of that and other:
Message close to the American Embassy and not entirely clear if by a Moldovan or American signatory…
Although the kiosks and food vendors are spreading around Chisinau, I also found this little bookstore by the tram stop, next to the news paper stands. No wonder I like Chisinau so much!
New recycling bins
And finally outside the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, where I spent a lot of time while working in Moldova.