Chinsinau Markets

Chisninau has many small stores and a few large department stores, but for many purchases everone goes to a market. There are many different kinds of markets. There is one huge food market covering several blocks near the center of town. Of course you can buy vegetables there just as you could at an American farmers' market.

But there is also a section for buying meat.

They also have home-prepared foods, especially carrots, beets, cabbage and pickles.

There are also sections for packaged foods.

The same market also has sections for housewares, electronics and lunch. The markets are crowded, especially on weekends. Often the aisles are only wide enough for one or two people and there are large groups of people trying to get through. Some people are patient, but others think that they shouldn't have to wait and push those in front out of their way. It doesn't help that often there will be people standing in the middle of the aisles selling bags or meat pies. All these people make it difficult to take pictures.

Not far away are other markets with their own specialties. One of my favorites has four specialties: pets, bootleg CD's, tools and auto parts.

Right on the main street in a small park is the art market. I found little there to tempt me.

I don't have any pictures yet of the biggest market of all, called the Tolchuk. It has a bit of everything except food, though more clothes than anything else. Next time I go I'll take my camera.

Most of the vendors have fixed prices, usually posted. I appreciate not having to bargain. Though I have almost learned my numbers in Romanian, it is still hard work to bargain in a foreign language. And for small items it just isn't worth it. If I buy a kilo of tomatoes for 65 cents, it just isn't worth too much work to see if you can get them down to 50 cents!

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