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Just Don’t Think – Experience

Hospet to Davangere 130k
Folks in India are really ingenious at figuring out how to do something, and today I had a chance to spend some time being instructed on the modern way to thresh beans.
Rice paddies
It was a wonderful day of riding.  The first hair raising 15k getting out of Hospet on a busy crumbling road were enough to make me question whether two cups of coffee was enough caffeine to make my brain alert enough to navigate through the mess. 
But the rest of the ride more than made up for it – we pedaled through the countryside – farmland planted with sunflowers, cotton, corn, and eventually rice as we headed south.
The roads were good and the terrain flat to rolling, which is ideal.  It means that you have time to goof off and explore, while still minimizing your time riding in the heat of the day.  I find myself weighing stops in the precious cool, non-trafficky hours between 7 and 11 AM.  Premium cycle time. Want to pedal as much as possible before the heat sets in.  
But when I saw people putting dried up stalks in the middle of the road I had to stop and check it out, even in morning prime time for cycling.   
So here’s bean threshing Indian style, assisted by much pointing and gesturing and various passersby who stopped to watch us watch the bean threshing:
Stalks that have dried out bean husks are carefully laid in the middle of the road.
Cars, trucks and ox carts run over the stalks.
The beans are squirted out to the side when cars run over them, and they are scooped up and set aside for sifting and, I hope cleaning, later.
They are continually swept into smaller piles in the road until there are minimum beans left. Then the husks and stalks are swept off side of the road. Any stray beans are picked up.
We sampled the beans – they looked like little chickpeas and tasted hard and dry and nutty once they softened enough to bite into them.
And yes, they has just been squished by car and ox hooves on the same road where every other human, animal and vehicle travels, and handled by at least two people before given to me to taste.
But my new motto in India is “Just don’t think. Experience”.
Leigh Pate
Leigh Pate is a writer, former political consultant and two time cancer patient and cancer research advocate living in Seattle, WA

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