Learning reading and mapping

One childhood memory, somewhere around 1988-1989, I am about 5 years old: My grandfather was teaching me how to read. He would take a newspaper and make me search for a certain letter, for example ‘g’. And I would point to all the ‘g’ letters I could find on a page. The newspapers used to come with unopened pages, one had to take a knife and tear them open. My grandfather would do that over the kitchen table and then we would go together to sit in the living room, to search for letters. Once the newspaper had a map of Europe printed which interested me very much. My grandfather explained to me what a map is and then he took a geography atlas and I tried to learn the names of countries in Europe. The shapes of the countries fascinated me. I remember very well. Some of the first names I learned were Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Where are they now?