But aren't cigarettes super expensive? Especially for chain smokers? How can they possibly afford it?
Easy. A pack of cigarettes can cost less then a pack of chewing gum.
|An average pack of cigarettes cost about 12-15 lei, or about a dollar. But if you look in the corner you can find a pack of Doina that sells for 4.50 while a pack of Orbit gum underneath sells for 5.50.|
But cigarettes aren't the only thing that is dirt cheap. Beer also flows like water. Sometimes cheaper than water.
Chisinau of course being the capital of the country it is also the brand name of the best selling beer in Moldova. Although there is other beer available from Russia or Ukraine such as белый медведь, старый мельник, or Балтика, beers from other countries tend to be harder to find and usually cost twice as much. In general Guinness, Stella Artois, Carlsberg, Beck's, and Heineken are really all you can find in most places, though larger grocery stores have very large selections, with the beer and the alcohol taking up two separate aisles. (Also almost all East European beer are sold in 500 ml bottles while West European beers are sold in 330 ml bottles and cost more money...so you pay more to get less beer.)
Unlike wine which is usually chugged like vodka, beer is usually sipped at a leisurely pace and even though Moldovans hardly ever drink anything cold and never put ice in their drinks, because there is fear of catching a cold or upsetting your stomach, beer is an ice cold exception.