This is the love story of Madam Money and Mr Gold who tied the knot today in a muddy garden in Luang Prabang. Her real name is Ngern but, when we first met, she told me it was too hard for foreigners to say so, "You just call me Madam Money, okay? Easier for you. My name meaning in Lao is money!"
For the past few months I have been renting a small home in Madam Money's compound where she lives with her two sons, mother and father. Her first husband died from diabetes. She said that she cried too much, every day, until her house cleaner gave her the number of a man who had also lost his partner. The man's name was Kham, which means gold in Lao. He lives in Xiangkhouang Province, eight hours away. His wife died trying to birth their second child.
Madam Money and Mr Gold spoke many times on the phone and then he travelled to Luang Prabang to meet her. They fell in love and he asked her to marry him. You could always tell when Mr Gold was coming to visit Madam Money because she would sit on her front porch and sing, for hours, waiting for him. This singing would continue while he was in town and stop when he departed. Then she'd look sad and talk about missing him. But today they got married...which means there will be a lot more love songs sung outside my window. But first I must survive the wedding party karaoke that's blaring into my home and will no doubt be blasted by the doof doof loudspeakers for many hours to come.