Corey writes:

About two months ago, the fair came to town. That's right, a good ole-fashioned county fair. Everyone at work was talking about it. So when our friend Satya asked if we wanted to go with him, we jumped at the chance. "When are you free?" he asked. "How about 5pm on Sunday?" we said. "See you then."

As it happens, 5pm on a Sunday is the worst possible time to go to Mina Bazaar. While it was technically open when we arrived, most of the booths and rides were still being set up, and there were a total of six people there including us.

Satya dutifully led us around the empty fair to look at the empty booths. I kept waiting for The Joker to pop out of somewhere, it was a little creepy in the late afternoon sun. We did get some Mathura Cake, which are essentially fried mini-donuts that we have at fairs in the States.

That was also the day I tried my first Koraput lassi. Four thousand later, I still want more of those babies. I'm going to cry the day that we walk in to town and find the lassi shops have turned back into Christmas shops, or whatever they turn into before Christmas shops.

To sum up, our first attempt at the Mina Bazaar was less than awesome. Fast forward to this week and we heard that the fair was back in town. This time, we decided to go at 6:45 on a weekday with our friend Binu. The place was hopping.

We went straight for the rides at the back of the fair. We had our choice of four fair-type rides: a Ferris wheel, a spinny ride (like the Scrambler), a giant swinging boat, and a dragon going around a flat oval track. Having seen the way buildings, roads, and cars are maintained here in Koraput, I was determined not to go too near any of these rides. Binu and her cousin-sister went on the big rocking ship, and Gina and I did the parental "We'll take pictures from here" thing. They shrugged, got on, and had a fun time without anyone dying.

Maybe bolstered by the lack of fatalities, Gina taunted and goaded me into agreeing to go on the Scrambler thing. "OK, but I'm going to be mad if we die!" I said. We went and lived. "I think I enjoyed it more because you were scared." she said, teasing me.

Then we treated ourselves to more fried donuts and browsed through the booths on the perimeter. In addition to the standard fair crap of cheap purses, jewelry, toys, etc. you can also get cups, plates, cookware, and cooking utensils. This time was a good time at Mina Bazaar.