‘Thank you. My name is—’
He cut me off with a dismissive gesture.
‘Don’t bother. We don’t use names here.’ Seeing my eyes widen he shook his head. ‘You must have just died. Listen, all of us here came because we had descendants or some family member who bothered to burn offerings to us. We’re technically the privileged ones, who can spend some time enjoying the fruits of filial piety before going on to judgment at the Courts. But some of us end up working as servants out of boredom or necessity. Still, we don’t use our true names, understand? My grandchildren want to think that I’m enjoying an afterlife of leisure here and I want to preserve that illusion. So no names.’
‘But how would they know what you were doing here anyway?’
‘Cheh! Of course they don’t know, but we don’t like to think about them getting wind of it through some spiritualist or medium. You never know what sort of information leaks out. Anyway, for our own pride, we don’t mention it.’
The Chinese spirit world seems ever-so pragmatic.