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Seasonal and Other Annoyances in Chisinau and Moldova

This page is intended to warn visitors about annoying things they should be aware of before coming to Moldova.

  1. Poplar seeds - May, June
    These are covered with cottony down and fly around in May and June getting into people's noses and eyes. This was a big problem in Chisinau until 2006, when the authorities decided to cut down many poplar trees. However, not all of them have been cut down and some poplar down remains. Sunglasses may help.
  2. Aphids (plant lice) - May-July
    I think I named them correctly. These weren't much of a problem until 2006. In late May 2006 these insects were a big problem - their high concentration in air was as bad as the poplar down described above. Thus, it was impossible to walk outside without having these insects getting on your clothes, in your hair, into your eyes and on your lips. Again, sunglasses are helpful.
  3. Mud - any time during the year
    Quality of roads and streets is quite poor. Also, in Chisinau, parking lots are scarce and many drivers park their cars on lawns, transforming them into mud pits, especially during rainy weather. Same happens with people who like to cut corners and walk on unpaved segments even if those are muddy. Thus, a lot of mud gets onto paved places and after a while, there is no difference between paved and unpaved palces.
  4. Lack of parking lots - all year round
    This is a problem for both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers have to look for places to leave their cars, while pedestrians suffer because of a great number of cars parked on pavements and blocking the way, often forcing people to walk through mud (see above).
  5. Lack of useable public toilets - all year round
    Public toilets are generally very scarce. The remaining ones are hardly useable - too dirty for a normal person. I'd rather wait until I get home.
  6. Rainy weather - any time during the year
    Rain per se is not usually a problem, but trying to walk is. Numerous puddles and mud create real challenges. Coupled with drivers not willing to slow down through puddles when people are standing by, this is really annoying.
  7. Lack of consistent quality of products and services - all year round
    A product or service that you use today and really like for its good quality may disappoint you tomorrow. Unfortunately this happens a lot and in many areas. From simple items like bread or kefir to restaurants. Be prepared and never have high expectations.
  8. Unfriendly service - all year round
    Soviet heritage left its mark on the services sector, especially state-owned, such as the post office. The people you have to deal with seem to be prepared to kill you simply because you came to them and want them to do their work. Very weird, especially when all you want is a stamp.
  9. Stench of sewage - mostly May-September
    The Chisinau sewage treatment plant is very old and uses obsolete technology. Thus, whenever southern winds blow (usually in the warm part of the year), the city is covered with a very bad stench. It smells as if you were in a pig farm.