ITALY: Il Dopocolera

The scene was Naples, but a Naples that few would recognize. The cafes, the hotels and the markets were eerily quiet and empty. For infection-wary prostitutes, it was never on weekdays as well as Sundays. Sullen crowds milled in the streets, and people eyed each other with suspicion. A placard outside the Zi' Teresa restaurant — closed by a strike, although there were no customers to speak of anyway — explained the city's unsettled mood. CHOLERA BROUGHT us TO OUR KNEES, it read, NOW WE ARE WAITING FOR THE COUP DE GRACE....

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