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Dear Ayi, My hus­band and I have lived in Bei­jing for 10 years and fi­nally saved enough for a down pay­ment on an apart­ment. We came across a great deal, but the neigh­bors told us it’s a “haunted house” where a mur­der hap­pened. Should we take it?

Didn't you learn the con­cept of唯物主义( w9iw&zh^y#, ma­te­ri­al­ism) in Marx­ism class at school? Death hap­pens on ev­ery inch of the Earth, and you have nowhere to hide if you are so迷信( m!x#n, su­per­sti­tious). But since you have turned to me, I will of­fer you a so­lu­tion: Hang huge por­traits of Marx, Chair­man Mao, and Deng Xiaop­ing in the liv­ing room to镇宅辟邪( zh-nzh1i b#xi9, guard the house and ward off evil). Their com­bined ma­te­ri­al­ist aura will pro­tect you from any evil spir­its or负能量( f&n9ngli3ng, neg­a­tive en­ergy). Just ask those cab driv­ers who hang icons of the Chair­man that say “一路平安”( y!l& p!ng'`n, safe jour­ney) in their cars—they cer­tainly cheat death ev­ery day! But hurry, be­fore other peo­ple get the idea to burn in­cense and hire monks to re­cite scrip­ture in the apart­ment, or just rent it out to un­sus­pect­ing ten­ants.

Got ques­tions for our Agony Ayi? Send them to [email protected]­world­ofchi­

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