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Recent Changes

Hi Everyone. Welcome to The Moldovan Connection website. This website is dedicated to bringing information about a little European country called Moldova to the outside world. If you want to know more about this website, please visit the "About this website" page. In the meantime, please take a few minutes to browse my website using the menu on the left. Below is the account of recent changes and additions to my website.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011.

Added links to a blog by a Peace Corps. volunteer in Moldova and to an article about her adventures.

Monday, November 29th, 2010.

Here's an article at NY Times' Lense photography blog about Moldovan kids growing up without parents (not orphans though) - a whole "lost" generation.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009.

Made a few minor updates and updated some of the Living in Chisinau stuff, such as Wifi, public transport prices etc.

Friday, October 23rd, 2009.

It's been a long time. Moldova managed to have two parliamentary elections, change the government from the consesrvative communist to pro-western democratic, suffer a terrorist attack and many other things. I apologise for the absence.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with monthly expenses and latest prices. I also added the price of public transport, which rose since October 2009.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with March expenses.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with December, January and February expenses. Note the USD exchange rate evolution and a significant rise in expenses (esp. Utilities)

Monday, December 8th, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with November expenses.

I have also updated the Images of Chisinau and Images of Moldova pages with some additional photos. These pics are not new, but I scoured my 2005 photo archive and added a couple more. Hopefully I will add more pics from 2006, 2007 and 2008 very soon.

The most notable addition is a video of an Orthodox Christian ritual of consecrating a home, which I filmed yesterday and which is available at the Moldovan Culture page. I hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008.

I made some more changes to the Links page. I added two more categories, "Pages by foreigners in Moldova" and "Intersting links" and rearranged a few links I had. I also added a link to the Moldovarious website, which, according to the website owners, is A critical and scientific analysis of the topic 'Republic of Moldova - status quo and prospects in the new Europe'.

TiganThe second link is to Tigan (i.e. Gypsy) - the blog of the production of Moldova's first 3D animated movie. They also have English version so check it out.

And of course the Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with October expenses.

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with September expenses.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008.

Two new articles have been added: one to the articles about Moldova page and one to the About Transnistria page. I also recommend to read the article "The Georgias to Come" by Michael Radu, which is a political analysis in the wake of the Russian military incursion into Georgia (very relevant to Moldova).

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with August expenses.

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008.

I made slight changes to the Links page. Most notably, I added a link to the Killing Batteries Blog, which belongs to Leif Pettersen, who is a travel guide writer in charge of updating the Lonely Planet guide for Moldova and Romania. Thanks to him, you can find my name at the back of the guide. His blog is the funniest thing on the internet and it also has some stuff on Moldova.

I also added another term to the Words You Should Know page. This time it's "Rutiera" = "MAXI-TAXI" = "Marshrutka" (the latter is in Russian).

Monday, August 11th, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with July expenses.

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008.

A new article about Moldova has been added to the articles about Moldova page. This time it's an article by Kay Mills, who ventured into Moldova's renowned wine caves. The article was initially published in LA Times.

Sunday, July 20th, 2008.

Hi all. Just wanted to say that I have finally moved my website from Tripod, which was giving visitors popups and ads (for those who didn't use ad blocking programs at least). The new host also provides a lot more space and some other technical opportunities that I hopefully will be able to implement. Welcome to md-connection.zzl.org! Please update your bookmarks that refer to the old site. I am no longer updating it.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with June expenses.

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008.

I know it's been a while since the last update. I really didn't have time as I was preparing for my CFA level 3 exam, which I took in early June. So now come some updates. I am planning to migrate my website from Tripod (http://vitalie.tripod.com) to Zymic (http://md-connection.zzl.org), so if there are disruptions, I apologise in advance.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with March, April and May expenses.

Sunday, March 3rd, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated with January and February expenses.

Another addition is a link to a documentary photo slideshow by Mimi Chakarova dedicated to sex trafficking of Moldovan women, please see the articles page. While it's not an article and it may not be recent (I didn't find a date when the slideshow was released), it serves to tell about Moldova and its problems to the outside world.

I am also urging you to consider donating some money to a little girl who needs to undergo expensive surgery. Details on her parents' blog (in Romanian, English and French).

Monday, January 14th, 2008.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated.

Monday, December 3rd, 2007.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated. Don't be fooled by the falling food expenses: the decrease is coming from us switching to less expensive shopping places, which are less convenient for shopping but are cheaper; also we buy less food because our parents are helping us with food, while Sasha has less time for cooking because she has to be with our little daughter.

Friday, November 16th, 2007.

Following a request from www.booking.md, I added a link to their website on my Recommended links page. This is an online hotel reservation site, with pictures and rates. Hopefully, they will add a link to my website too.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007.

Hi all! I have finally found time to add some updates. At least this time I had a viable excuse - the birth of my daughter. Anyhow, the Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated. Not only the tables, but also some of the annotations. Check out my blog for more new revelations about living in Moldova.

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007.

Made some minor updates to visa information. As of 2007, people from the EU, USA and some other countries do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days, and I had failed to note this on the website.

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007.

A new article was put on the articles about Moldova page. The article is by Linda Holzgreve.

Sunday, August 5th, 2007.

The Cost of living in Chisinau page has been updated.

Monday, July 9th, 2007.

Today I made some minor updates to the Living in Chisinau page. Nothing too exciting - simply removed some outdated stuff and added a few new comments.

Thursday, July 5th, 2007.

Today I updated the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

Monday, July 2nd, 2007.

I got a link to this page from a friend. The link will take you to a webpage with request for help from parents of a newborn girl who requires an expensive surgery to treat an inborn deficiency. Please visit the website and help if you can.

Friday, June 8th, 2007.

I finally took my CFA level 2 exam last week, and so I did a few updates to the website. First of all, May expenses are up on the Cost of living in Chisinau page. I also expanded that page to include prices of individual items for those people who want to know how much a certain product costs. The list is not complete and you are welcome to request additions.

I also added a paragraph from a Dutch visitor in Moldova to the Impressions page. This person spent around 10 days in Moldova and I met with him once.

Thursday, May 17th, 2007.

Today I added one more "annoyance" to the Annoyances in Chisinau page. It's about the bad smell covering the city when the wind blows from the direction of the sewage treatement plant. It is really bad.

I also added a link to Unicef Moldova page to the Recommended Links list.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007.

First of all, congratulations on the International Labour Day to everyone.

Today I added April expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page. I think this is my fastest update - due to today's holiday.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007.

Updated the Living in Chisinau page to reflect the coming of a third mobile operator (Unite from Moldtelecom, in CDMA2000 standard), the renaming of an existing one (Voxtel will become Orange next week) and the closure of a pizza place (Pizza Pazza behind the Patria Cinema doesn't exist any more).

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007.

Yet another article was added to the Articles about Moldova page. Those of you who visit my website regularly already know Dan Fellner, who has allowed me to republish all of his articles written for his home Arizona Republic. Dan is back in Moldova through the Fulbright Scholar Program teaching journalism to students at the State University. This time Dan writes about his experiences at a football match between Moldova and Malta.

Friday, April 6th, 2007.

Added two links to the Recommended Links page: to Peace Corps projects in Moldova and to the Aksai Foundation which also has a project in Moldova renovating an orphanage.

Thursday, April 5th, 2007.

Added a link to a blog of Peter Myers, a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Moldova, to the Recommended Links page.

Monday, April 2nd, 2007.

As a new feature of the Moldovan Connection website, you can now try the Moldovan Connection forum. The forum platform is in a beta stage, but seems to be functional, so welcome!

Today I added another entry into the Articles about Moldova page. This time it's a blog post by Lyndon Allin.

Also added March expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007.

Added another article to the Articles about Moldova page. This article is not about the Moldovan people however. It is about relative earnings in Europe, and because Moldova is officially the poorest country in Europe, it got somewhat more attention than other countries. The article was published by Finfacts Ireland, who granted me their kind permission to republish the article on my website.

Monday, March 19th, 2007.

If you like this website and feel like rewarding the author for his effort, please check out this page to see how you can do it. No paypal or clicking any banners is necessary :) .

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007.

Today I added another page to my website, this time it's not about Moldova, but about me. It is basically a little resume of what I do for living and is intended as an ad of my services, so if you are not really interested in contracting an equity research outsourcing professional, this page will be of no interest to you.

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007.

Today I added a new page - a vocabulary of words that you will see all over the place in Chisinau and Moldova as a whole. I thought the meaning of these words will be interesting to those coming to Moldova. The page is small for now. I would like to expand it with Russian words as well (currently there only Romanian words), since Moldova is a bilingual country and Russian is as widely used in Chisinau as Romanian.

Monday, March 5th, 2007.

Added February expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007.

Added two links to the Recommended Links page. One of the links is to a blog by Val Popovici (in Romanian) dedicated to current events in Moldova. The other link is to a book written in the 1920s by Charles Upson Clark, when he visited this place.

Friday, February 2nd, 2007.

Today I added January expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page. I also changed the chart type on that page (from bar to line).

Friday, January 18th, 2007.

I added a link to an article about Moldovans living in Vermont published on Burlington Free Press website. This article doesn't quite fit the "usual" format of articles I put up on this website as it talks about Moldovans who have moved out of Moldova in search of a better life. However, the article fits the purpose of this website - to tell about Moldova and its people and I believe this article will help understand Moldovans better.

I also added November and December 2006 expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page. This page also got a new item - a chart that allows to compare monthly food expenses and utility bills on a year-over-year basis.

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006.

Today I added Chisinau weather information from the Weather Channel to all pages on my website - you should see it on the left, below the menu. It is pretty accurate and we use it to see what weather to expect in the next several days.

Monday, November 13th, 2006.

There's a good article at The Intelligencer by Robin Capehart, a Fulbright Scholar from the USA in Moldova. This is his second article about his experience in Moldova, describing Moldovan students and Moldova's higher education system from an American academic perspective. Unfortunately, I have not received a reply from the site's editor to my request for permission to republish the first article and it is not on their website any more. So I don't see a point in asking again :( . Here's an excerpt from today's article:

As I stood in the hallway waiting for my ride, I watched hundreds of Moldova State University students pass by. For the most part, they looked like the droves of students I would see every day if I were back teaching at Marshall University. There was a tinge of European style that would not be prevalent on an American campus. Yet, jeans and sweaters were clearly the order of the day and the animated banter that echoed throughout the brightly painted atrium created the same bustling atmosphere that one would find at institutions of higher learning in Huntington, Morgantown or West Liberty.

So, in many aspects the students are the same ? yet the education is vastly different. In discussions with students and colleagues, it appears that there are three primary reasons for these differences: (1) the structural vestiges of a Soviet-imposed system; (2) a severe lack of financial resources; and (3) corruption.

Sunday, November 5th, 2006.

Added September and October expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page. I am currently trying to figure out a more logical way to show the cost of living in Moldova, such as per unit prices, e.g. what a kilogram of pork costs, the price of a loaf of bread, one cinema ticket etc; and their evolution over time. It's a lot of work, and I don't have much time theses days with a lot of work at, well, work. So no promises, OK?

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006.

I completely forgot that I had some new images of Chisinau ready. They are available at the Images of Chisinau page, as always.

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006.

In the past month I have made some updates to several pages. Some are minor, others are complete rewrites. I have completely changed the Economy page, and also updated the text on the Sad truth about Moldova page. Also added "several graphic enhancements" to the Living in Chisinau page.

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006.

Today I relaxed and did a little graphical enhancement: I added icons to the menu items in the site menu. I hope this will make the menus more useable and visually appealing. Unfortunately, those of you who use Internet Explorer will not be able to enjoy my icons fully - you will see white background instead of transparent. This is another reason to switch to Mozilla Firefox! (the link is on the left)

Friday, September 15th, 2006.

Added a couple of new paragraphs to the Living in Chisinau page. The changes are: added that Metro Cash&Carry is available in Chisinau; a little note on the price and availability of electronics and clothes; and a reference table for dialling Moldovan phone numbers from various locations - I hope it is more readable than the previous description.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006.

Added August expenses to the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006.

I think I relaxed too much this summer. I completely forgot that I had started doing a page with images of Moldova. Today I finished it and you can see it both in the menu and in this link to the Images of Moldova Page. There are also new pictures in the Images of Chisinau page.

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006.

In June, Dan Fellner gave me the permission to publish his last article about Moldova, which, as usual, had appeared in the Arizona Republic initially. This article talks about Moldovan wine and the implications of the Russian ban on Moldovan wines. This time it took me two months, but I finally did it. Please proceed to the articles page.

Friday, August 11th, 2006.

Sorry for abandoning you, I just relaxed too much after my June CFA exam (which I passed). Today's changes are: Cost of living in June and July added to the Cost of living in Chisinau page. Also, Living in Chisinau page was updated with new public transport tariffs. As of August, a ride in a trolleybus costs 1 MDL (up from 0.75), in a bus - 2 MDL (from 1.25) and in a maxi-taxi - 3 MDL (from 2). Also added a reference to a documentary about Transnistria to the Transnistria page. I downloaded it from a local BitTorrent network; it was done by a French team and is very good.

Monday, June 12th, 2006.

Added a couple more annoyances to the Annoyances page.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006.

May living expenses have been added to the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006.

Today I have added a page titled Annoyances. It describes various annoying things that ruin the comfort of living in Moldova.

Monday, June 5th, 2006.

I have added a column to the right with my current "to do" list for the website and a random image of Chisinau from my personal collection. Actually, the images are the same as on the Images of Chisinau page, but I made them smaller here. I hope it doesn't look crappy (tell me if it does!). For some reason, Internet Explorer makes the new column almost twice as wide as it is supposed to be, but I haven't found why, so please sorry for this empty margin on the right. Anyway, my site is more content-centred so I will not spend a lot of time tinkering with the design.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006.

Today I have done some cosmetic changes to the website, including rearranging the navigation menu (on the left) - I increased the number of categories. I hope it is better and easier to use now.

Monday, May 22nd, 2006.

Dan Fellner has kindly allowed me to post another one of his articles that was published in the Arizona Republic (United States) about living in Moldova. This time he shares his experience in Chisinau's public transport. The article is available on the articles page. I personally had a very "exciting" experience with public transport on Sunday two weeks ago. This story is available on my blog

Monday, May 15th, 2006.

I have updated the Living in Chisinau page. The changes concern Internet (in Communications). I also added an "Entertainment" section.

I also added a link to Marisha's website about Moldova to the links page. Marisha offers a plentitude of useful information and links, and offers some services too. Be sure to check it out if you want to come to Moldova.

Another addition - a panoramic view of the Jumbo shopping mall in Chisinau. Check it out at the images of Chisinau page.

Thursday, May 4th, 2006.

April living expenses have been added to the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

Since no one has complained about the new look of my website, I take it that everyone likes it :)

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006.

As you see, I have redesigned the look of my website. I have been getting people's comments about the black background - for some reason many people consider is depressive. I don't, but to keep people happy, I am introducing a more neutral look. I hope everyone will like it. If not, please don't hesitate to let me know (and please be as specific as you can). Ideally, I am going to add support for multiple stylesheets so that visitors will be able to choose the look they like more, but not all browsers support this feature (as far as I know, Mozilla Firefox supports it, but Internet Explorer doesn't).

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006.

Dan Fellner has kindly allowed me to post another one of his articles that was published in the Arizona Republic (United States) about living in Moldova. This time he writes about a visit to infamous Transnistria. Please proceed to the articles page.

Also, March 2006 living expenses have been added to the Cost of living in Chisinau page.

By popular demand, I have reduced the brightness of the background image, so that it does not interfere with the text. I understand that many people don't like the black beckground, but I am not ready to play with the design at this stage. Sorry.

Friday, March 17th, 2006.

Dan Fellner, the author of two articles about Moldova already featured on my website, has posted another one. As always, it is on the articles page.

Friday, March 3rd, 2006.

February living expenses have been added to the Cost of living in Chisinau page. Also, first two paragraphs and the link to a Time Out Magazine article about Moldova added to the articles page.

Monday, February 27th, 2006.

Dan Fellner, the author of the last two articles about Moldova that I had links to, found my website and granted me the permission to publish them. I highly recommend you to read them, as his experiences in Moldova would be as useful as they are amusing. Proceed to the articles page.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006.

Another article from Dan Fellner linked to at the Articles page. A fellow website visitor sent me an article from the TimeOut London magazine about Chisinau. I have requested the permission to include it on my website. But in the meantime, check it out here.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006.

Added one Moldova-related link to the Links page - a collection of artistic photographs of Moldova.

Thursday, February 16th, 2006.

A friend of mine from USA visited us in January. I asked him to write up some thoughts/advice for other visitors to Moldova to read. Read what he had to say here.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006.

Today I finally completed the Cost of living in Chisinau page. It shows how much money Sasha and I have spent since September 2005, month by month, split into main categories. I hope some people will find this interesting.

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006.

Today I added an article about Transnistria to the dedicated page with a kind permission from TCSDaily.com.

I also added several fresh images of Chisinau, if you're interested.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006.

Today I put together a couple of paragraphs about coming to Moldova for the first time: visa, registration, airport etc.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006.

Added a link to another article about Moldova. Unfortunately, to obtain the permission to republish it, I need to fill in a PDF form, so there's too much hassle, thus I am only providing an external link and a small quote on this one.

Friday, January 27th, 2006.

Published a new article about Moldova, written by Kevin Stillmock in April 2005.

Monday, January 16th, 2006.

I have added a few Moldova-related links on the links page. These include an information portal Moldova.org, a website with Moldovan legislation, a worldwide hostel booking website with country guides, and a children's charity in Moldova, which tries to help children in Moldova's orphanages. The Living in Chisinau page has been updated with means of payment for purchases. The Advice to foreign visitors has been updated with some visa and registration information.

I have received several complaints from site visitors about the colours and readability of pages (the black background is uncomfortable for some people). I apologise for the inconvenience and will try to look into this issue soon, however, design is not my talent and this may take more time than may seem reasonable. I hope you understand.

Monday, January 9th, 2006.

Wow, the new year is here! Congratulations to everyone! Today I am finally putting up a page about Moldovan food. More food is in the making, plus I am considering updating Advice to visitors and Living in Chisinau.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005.

Added six questions and answers to the Questions and Answers page.

Monday, September 19th, 2005.

Added seven more images of Chisinau, showing both the bright and dark sides of the city.

Friday, September 16th, 2005.

Today I added an article about Transnistria with a kind permission from Maria Polyakova at Russia Profile.

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005.

Added a new panorama to the images of Chisinau page.

Friday, July 29th, 2005.

Today I have posted a page with images of Chisinau. This needed to be done a long time ago. Also updated the Living in Chisinau page.

Monday, July 4th, 2005.

First of all, congratulations to all Americans on their Independence day. Now, to the business. Added some images to the Villages page. Also made a link to this index page from the "The Moldovan Connection" inscription in the top left corner of every page, so that visitors can always easily navigate to this page. I also forgot to mention last time, that the navigation menu has one new item - Chisinau - which will contain pages about Chisinau, the Moldovan capital city. The Living in Chisinau page got more content, in fact, I am thinking about splitting it into several smaller pages.

Monday, June 27th, 2005.

Yesterday I added a new page about living in Chisinau. This is supposed to be a practical guide to everyday issues you will be faced with in Chisinau. It is not finished yet, only has a section on shopping, one about transport and a little bit about communications. It is still work in progress, but I think it is already useful.

Thursday, February 10th, 2005.

Added a new question to the Questions and Answers page. Also changed the layout of pages slightly to make the whole site more user-friendly.

Monday, February 7th, 2005.

Added a fresh thought to the page with my thoughts about Moldova. It's at the bottom of that page. I also have scanned some historic maps that show the development of Romania and what is now the Republic of Moldova, in the AD era (since about 100 AD). The following step is to update the history page with these maps.

Monday, January 24th, 2005.

New article added to the articles page. This one was written by a Moldovan for the Transitions Online Magazine but with a foreign reader in mind. A good read. Highly recommended.

Friday, January 21st, 2005.

Today I finally made 2 versions of the city guide I made last summer. One version is for IE (for which the original version was made) and the other one is for Firefox, which I use. This City Guide will basically let you see some views of the city. Try it. I hope you'll appreciate my effort. Ideally, I want to create a Flash presentation, but for this I need to learn it first :)

Wednesday, January 19th, 2005.

Added a new page with my thoughts about the causes of Moldova's social and political stagnation. It is in a very raw form, but pretty much summarises my views.

Monday, January 10th, 2005.

Today I split the page with basic facts about Moldova into several more topical ones. Now there is a page with (quite sadly) "Sad Truth about Moldova", the History of Moldova, the Geography of Moldova, and the Moldovan Culture.

Friday, January 7th, 2005.

Today I made minor changes to the "General info" page in the Geography section. Yesterday I also updated the hit counter links, so now I know how many people have come to this website.

Thursday, January 6th, 2005.

Today I have added a little page with my biography, so that visitors to my website can get a little background on me.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005.

This website has undergone several waves of changes since its inception back in 1998 (or was it 1997?), just like an insect progresses from an egg into a larva, to a cocoon and to a butterfly or a bug or whatever. I'm not saying that this website has reached its apogee, but it looks much better now. The latest "makeover" took place in late Autumn 2004, when I completely redesigned its look and made it compatible with browsers other than Microsoft's Internet Explorer. If you want to see how it looked before, you can go to the Internet Archive wayback Machine and type in "http://vitalie.tripod.com/". It's this recent change that has prompted me to have a "cover" page that would show the updates in this website for the people who might be checking out for new stuff.

The most recent update happens to be the very creation of this page. Content-wise, it's the addition of the "Articles" page last week, where I will post articles from foreign press about Moldova. Now, there are many articles about Moldova out there. First of all, I take articles from western sources (Russian ITAR-TASS, Interfax and others are ruled out for its bias). Secondly, I choose articles by their ability to help people understand Moldova better, rather than just tell some news about it.

Also, today I created a page which describes this website.

I still have a big "to do" list for this website: make a site map, create pages about Moldovan traditional food, customs, map of Chisinau (I used to have one very briefly, but it only worked in Internet Explorer, so I have to do it from scratch). So watch this space :)