Thursday, February 12, 2009


Milestii Mici is also the name of the village where the winery is. Today it was a special holiday there, so the winery had all tours already booked for this day of festivities. It’s funny, because it was not a holiday in the rest of the country, only there. However, we managed to get a quick tour. It was kind of costly, but our only chance to see the wonders of wine making.

And it was definitely wonderful. Not so much for the wine tasting, as we got a very small tasting compared to what they usually serve, but for the place itself. It’s almost like an underground city, where you go by car and see its streets and alleys full with barrels and wine bottles. Each street is named after a specific kind of wine or grape.
You don’t need to love wine to appreciate it. It’s nice, it’s touristy, it’s part of the culture, if you’re there, you have to do it.
The tour was really quick, and we took the rest of the day to walk around, buy some gifts, eat in a cheap – but very good place – we had discovered close to our hotel.
At evening, I had my lecture scheduled at KSAK, the Art Institute in Chisinau. By 6PM we got there and waited until there were enough people. I showed my films, talked about them and my career and answered questions with the help of a translator. The crowd was very friendly, I felt very welcomed there. Soon after the lecture we took a cab to the Jazz bar, where Maria Turculets was waiting for us with some friends. Kerley had met Maria through the internet, and she revealed to be a great resource, very interested and a good friend. A band was playing some kind of “gipsy jazz”, very pleasant. I had this amazing cheese pancakes. It was then I discovered pancakes in Moldova were my favorite food.
Everybody was laidback, my dad was moving in the chair to the sound of the music, and I was doing my last “cameraman work”. I decided I wouldn’t take the video camera with me the next day. I needed to be at least one day without it.
Next to me was a local guy, one of Maria’s friends. I could hardly understand his English, but the little we communicated was very enjoyable. He worked in this radio station and also for the Jewish community. His sister lives in Kazakhstan, and for the first time I heard great things about this country.
Roman, my Russian friend, tried to meet us, but that didn’t happen. I knew I was not going to see him again.
We were tired and didn’t stay too long. We arranged with Maria to meet next day for a walk in the city. I also wanted to buy a Szdob szi Sdub CD (a famous local band) and get a shirt as souvenir.
Next day would be our last full day. We had done a lot for sure, but I felt the mission wasn’t totally accomplished, that we needed much more time to find out more things. However, I was happy just to enjoy this last day with my dad and sister, and relax.

Next: Last day in Moldova and final impressions.