UPDATED: December 2012
Many people have expressed interest in sending me mail while I’m in China, and to say I’d be more than happy to oblige is an understatement. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a letter or care package from a loved-one is worth at least a million and one. BUT, sending mail to China isn’t always easy. It’ll take some work (Aside: Doesn’t all snail mail take a little work these days, though?). And that’s why I’d be all the more appreciative when I receive things, from the smallest postcard to the largest box of heavy books.
I do have some minimal advice:
FedEx and UPS charge random extra fees for sending things to China. The US Postal Service does not, making it a bit cheaper.
Postcards from exotic American tourist traps are one of my favorite things in the world.*
If you live by a Chinatown, there are usually small shops that sell books and magazines that also offer cheap overseas shipping services.
It’s always lighter to use a padded envelope rather than a box.
I miss the Sunday morning comic strips in English.*
Packages under 4 pounds cost exponentially less than packages over 4 pounds. I speak from experience.
To send a package, you’ll have to fill out a customs declaration form, so don’t include any you-know-what.
The only LEGO I brought with me is a branded photo album from my aunt.*
If you’re sending a postcard or a letter, you just need the first part of the following address. If you’re sending a package, it’s probably best to put both the pinyin (Roman characters) and the Chinese characters on the outside. Just in case.
Make sure “CHINA” is always on top in big letters, so at least it gets to the right country.
My refrigerator is completely void of awkward magnets.*
Check that I’ll be in the country in the next month after you send it… the post office here only keeps packages for 30 days until they’ll send it back.
And FYI, nothing is ever 100% guaranteed to get to me. This is also spoken from experience. Please don’t give up, though! Maybe start small?
My current mailing address (last updated December 2012):
Tianjin, Hexi District
No. 51 Weijin South Road
Tianjin University of Sport – Library
American Cultural Center for Sport
手机：158 2200 6352
天津体育学院 – 图书馆