Hi! My name is Anastasia Wasko. Welcome to KiezKucker, my creative nonfiction blog. I call these pieces self-conscious travel stories. I am the story teller, and I am a character. I have a nomadic, digital solopreneur lifestyle that allows me freedoms to explore this exciting frontier: the fluid zone between languages, cultures, and identities. // What happens when an individual has the freedom to converse with the world?
KiezKucker means “neighborhood watcher.” I am in conversation with the world, dear reader; these words let you eavesdrop on my conversation with the world.
My traveling lifestyle is propelled by an intense wanderlust; it’s the instinct to communicate with and understand places and things and people that moves me. IMHO: An open and unfettered dialogue with the people across the globe is the ultra expression of freedom.
My first trip abroad was to Germany. I was 16. I went to live in the Black Forest in southern Germany, and I attended a German gymnasium (as my Junior high school year). I was a foreigner in a small town where I didn’t speak the language upon arrival. I spent a lot of time just looking around, reading between lines, letting the place communicate to me.
I made up the name KiezKucker because “Kiez” means “neighborhood” in German, but it’s used in the area around Berlin and not much else in other parts of the country. “Kucker” means “looker,” literally someone checking things out. I was in Berlin in 2014 when I thought of this word aka name. I liked it. The German word as a pen name/identifier is my way of honoring provenance.
I’ve been traveling for over 20 years. I’ve been writing KiezKucker over the last few. The stories are posted with a date at the end: the date is when the story actually happened.
I decided to omit pictures from the posts on KiezKucker so the focus remains on the words. If you are on Instagram, I invite you to follow my profile because I post a lot of pictures there.