ut this looks like the light at the end of the tunnel. He's issued me an official request for an 180-day visa on behalf of the university, which I will present to the visa folks in Hong Kong together with a letter describing that my "fruitful collaboration" with Chinese colleagues is going swimmingly but will require just a little bit longer than anticipated. Assembling that letter, with appropriate signatures and seals (for the importance of seals in China check out the chapter on "Revolution" in Yu Hua's China in Ten Words), was entrusted to a postdoc who's become a friend and has been following the saga of Mark's visa. "I'm sorry it's so 复杂 (complicated)," I said. "不是复杂," he said: not complicated. Someone finally told us what to do!