Red Balls


Dear Hillary,

I can see from reading your column this week that you are running out of serious issues, so I have one very important question for you.  Why do the Vanish Dishwasher tabs, with illustrated red power ball, sold in local supermarkets not actually contain the red power ball?  I have bought Vanish dishwasher tabs in Europe and there is always a red power ball. Do you think they are fake?  What is happening to all the red balls?  What can you do about it?  Should I petition trading standard, move to another country or get visiting friends to bring kosher supplies?

Best regards,


PS Recently we have noticed red worm like larvae (mosquito) in the bathroom toilet bowl of our condo unit in South Pattaya.  Some have even hatched out during the night, sadly only to be swatted the next morning.  Should we be worried, as this is also the same water we drink; not from the toilet obviously?  The water is supplied by the condo from tanks on the roof.

Dear Tom,

What a quandary you are in!  No balls in the kitchen and mozzies in the loo!  You are certainly in the wrong place, and the option of moving to another country might be the answer.  You have not come to terms with living in this country, have you?  Washing your own dishes!  Educated people don’t wash their own dishes and don’t care if their balls are red or white or tartan (you’re not Scottish are you)?  I don’t wash my own dishes, so why are you?

You must also remember that the maid you are denying employment for has two children in NE Thailand that she is supporting, and by doing your own dishes you are stopping two needy children’s education.  I hope you are suitably embarrassed by all this.

Now to the mozzie problem.  I am so relieved to read that you are not using the toilet water as drinking water, but you probably are in the dishwasher (without red balls).  Is this really fair?  Mosquitoes have their place in this life, remember, and swatting is an occupation listed only for Thai people, so you are in danger from the labor department as well as getting your posterior bitten.

The more I consider your “important questions”, the more I think I should devote my time to the really deserving people, you know, the ones who have been here for three minutes and want to buy a house for the GF’s parents, rather than people who are worried about the color of their balls.  Powerful or otherwise.