In London, there are lots of people. This might sound silly, and you might say 'Oh yeah, I know there are 12 million inhabitants there'. Finns and people from other small countries: yes, you may know that as a fact but it is difficult to understand it if you haven't been to a big city before. It the same as not being quite able to grasp the size of London: you cannot quite grasp the amount of people everywhere. The feeling is rather claustrophobic when you try to walk down Oxford Street at any time of the day (there are tourists who sometimes park themselves in the middle of the street) or when you try to board the tube in rush hour. Sometimes I just get this overwhelming feeling sometimes of not being able to understand where all these people come from!
It is bewildering for a Finnish girl who comes from a very white surburb of Helsinki to be thrown into somewhere as multicultural as London. In my primary school in Finland I think we had maybe two Asian children and they both were adopted so no foreign children at all despite there being about 600 pupils. It was not that I was racist or that I did not want to make friends with people from different ethnic backgrounds; it was much more about not being used to people looking so different. I have gotten over that now, of course.
|The Tower of London|
To those people who do not think they are good enough at English: trust me, whoever you speak to, you are unlikely to be the least competent English speaker they have met. The English are not known for their skills in foreign languages so they are generally impressed with foreigners who make an attempt to speak English. You might even get an apology from them for only knowing their native tongue. I always found the general spoken English in London very comprehensible so that was at least helpful. Although obviously, London being the capital, it attracts people from all over the country so you may well come across accents that are a bit more challenging mainly if you are not used to them (e.g. those from the northern parts of England and from Scotland).