I believe I have finally
managed to surmount the Great Firewall. So here is what I did in case the information might be useful to anyone else.
1. I obtained a proxy server called Astril (Google it), which on its own did not work, but might have been a factor. It is worth having in any case, as the Chinese internet is extremely (bafflingly) prohibitive.
2. When I checked out and was taken to the page between the SN site and the Paypal page (where you are told to click the "checkout button" if
you are not directed to Paypal within five seconds) I clicked on the checkout button immediately
--sounds like nothing, but I think it matters. When I waited
to be routed to Paypal I landed on the Chinese version, which would not allow the order despite the proxy; it simply kicked me back to the SN site. It really
got on my nerves
May none of you EVER have to go through this!
Needless to say, I broke the bank on this order. And Spring is on the horizon