We began in Tunisia, the beginning of Arab spring but the conflict was just beginning and we had no idea. No one had or even to this day has any idea if spring will blossom into summer or skip the natural cycle of the seasons and revert back to winter. In parts of the country politics were the least of their worries as floods made agriculture and even transportation impossible where they'd never experienced flooding before. Malta was next, an ancient island with untold mysteries confounded by the past yet pushed into a commercial future of tourism in the name of euro progress. Italy, so expensive not even its own people can afford to live there anymore yet it is surely too big to fail.
Albania has its own charm and still has it's own currency and belongs to its own people and history. Smiling, friendly, hopeful survivors. The Greeks have history on their side especially if they can kick the euro habit and return to their drachma roots. Their reality is an ability to suffer proudly realizing that all politicians are crooks - EVERYWHERE. The Turks have split personalities and being thusly schizophrenic as well. Being the only real bridge between the Christian and Muslim worlds, their destiny will inevitably be the battleground for the resolution of these two great modern mythical masses of humanity. Cyprus is the crucible for the meeting of ancient and modern drama, at one and the same time a poignant reminder of cultural clashes and their insignificance in the face of inevitable ecological transformations. The People of the Oil in the midst of religious absolutism, unspeakable new found wealth, and ancient tribal rivalries attempting each in its own way to bridge a gulf of desert quicksand - UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, entities which are fantasies fabricated by foreign hands and imaginations. As much like the great wall of China as the euro Chunnel yet without the power of history other than as nomads and fishermen now swimming in oil trying to create a future before their short lived past evaporates behind them.
Iran, or more properly, Persia, the central enigma of our post technological world. The people who were once the most intellectually, culturally, and artistically talented now captured by mythological greatness and imprisoned by mental midgets. Their history of greatness pushes their pride forward even as they look backward as though somehow this will prevent them from falling. India, populating itself to such an extent that even the hundreds of sects and reincarnated gurus, saints, and mystics cannot control the tsunami of corruption, waste, and utter despair heading it's way. Technology cannot save them from the castes which imprison their most intelligent minds. Kashmir, a state of mind only, controlled by a hatred of two occupying forces which use its lack of existence as a pretext for denying Kashmiri's their right to their own national cricket team. Ladakh is not India being thoroughly Buddhist in every way except for it's newly discovered fascination for making money from serving foreign visitors. Nepal is what I imagine Ladakh will be 30 years hence if either can survive the harshness of a collapsed ecosystem bereft of water and tourists.
I imagine Sikkim has the aptitude if not the environment of its neighbor, Bhutan, but lacks the proper leadership. After all, India surely shows no ability to produce any inspired leaders such as the kingdom of Bhutan, democracy be damned. Bangladesh exists as an economy diametrically opposite from what the People of the Oil have. Their only hope is that global warming happens quickly so as to limit the number of casualties from the inundation of their entire country. Bangladesh produces 70% of the worlds jute. From what little I saw of Indonesia I can only say, best of luck holding together what can only be a sinking 'ship' of such diversity that to call it a 'nation' or 'country' requires one to suspend reality and replace it with something akin to a cross between Disney World, Las Vegas, the Galapagos islands, a Muslim Haiti (or perhaps Mauritania), and Singapore. Finally, Australia the land of the free and true home of the brave. Read Jerrod Diamond's "Collapse". I believe this continent is not only one of the most unique on earth it also has the potential to lead the way into our uncertain future of Peak Oil and Global Warming/Climate Change. Given the totally inappropriate and conflicting goals of growth (both economically and population-wise) and social justice, their citizens face even greater divisions and polarization in a more immediate future than any other western country.