After hanging around Zhongdian for three extra days (way too long, even if this is Shangri-la), waiting and hoping to board a direct flight to Lhasa, the powers that be in the Land of Snows finally got around to looking at our month-old permit applications. And apparently, they didn’t like what they saw.
The current political situation is just too sensitive to be having a ‘cute small foreigner friend’ (the official term for Owen) running around up there, no matter how 乖 everyone thinks he is. Or, it’s just preferable to tell the world that Tibet is currently fine and open, but keep denying permits for anyone who actually asks to go. It’s the exact same tactic used across China at restaurants–don’t tell customers what on the menu is not availalable until they try to order it.
So there goes Lhasa for us, and those three days we could have used elsewhere. Fortunately, Plan B will be even better–whatever Plan B ends up being. Stay tuned.