In London, the young Gandhi–a slender Indian with protruding ears and terrible shyness–felt desperately isolated. His command of English, despite a high-school education that emphasized the language, was weak and his command of European custom weaker, and on the boat to Southampton he ate in his cabin to avoid embarrassment. In England, fortunately, family friends took him under their wing and enabled him to get settled in a boarding-house without incident. But problems persisted–notably the difficulty of diet. Vegetarian food was hard to come by in Victorian London, and many Indians simply abandoned the Hindu strictures on eating meat. But Gandhi had promised his mother to keep his religious customs, and he was a man who kept promises, so he subsisted on oatmeal porridge and other dishes until he found a suitable restaurant–and in it, a work entitled
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