When I was still in the elementary school, my paternal grandpa visited me and then gave me an envelope before he went home to Bandung. Inside the envelope was a piece of paper with names of countries and places across the globe that end with "stan".
There must be around 20 names he wrote there. Since I have always liked geography, the eight-year-old me already knew some of the countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. But I also found other unfamiliar names, like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The names have been haunting me ever since.
Grandpa did not give any explanation on why he wrote those names or why he gave it to me. He was a schoolteacher, so perhaps he wanted me to find out where those countries are? Grandpas are weird, aren't they?
Grandpa passed away in 1999. Unfortunately, I lost that paper when we moved from our old home. In an effort to stop the memories from fading, I go online and search mosques across the lands of -stan. So here they are.