Black Friday on Vulcan

By Linda

Rating: G

Genres: family

Keywords:

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Summary:  I just read a complaint from my daughter on Facebook about standing for hours in the cold waiting for Wal-Mart to let her in on Black Friday.  So I was thinking ... how would they do this on Vulcan?

Rating: G

Disclaimer: No filthy lucre changed hands.

Keywords: Trip and T'Pol, Humor

Note: Text in italic is telepathic communication.  The one Vulcan phrase I used was from the Vulcan Language Dictionary compiled by Selek.


 

 

Black Friday on Vulcan

By Linda

 

Trip glanced at his shopping list held in one hand as he pressed the button to lower the hatch on his parked Vulcan low-altitude flyer.  Okay.   Only four more items on the list.   The storage compartment in this Vulcan version of a Volkswagen was almost full.  Hmm.  And he would have to press his finger to the parking meter again to pay for more time in this spot.  Glancing behind him, he noticed two other flyers slowing down to see if he was vacating his parking spot.  He grinned at them and waved his hand in what he hoped would be understood as "Sorry folks, I'm not leaving".   The guy in the first car answered Trip's gesture with a hand signal of his own and a furrowed brow.   Trip hoped that was Vulcan for "Okay buddy, but I am getting a bit frustrated with the parking situation" - a Vulcan version of the shoulder shrug, and not "Who let these stupid Humans onto our planet anyway?"  The guy drove off with a woman and two kids pressing their faces to different windows of their flyer looking for other parking spaces.   

Trip was then startled by an incoming telepathic message "Husband, I have found the last item on our list and I have purchased it."

He shot back with "Great, T'Pol!  I have all the items except for the three above the one you just bought. Who'd have thought so many people would be out buying gifts for family members to celebrate Surak's birthday on a cold day like this?  It must be less than 130 degrees around here."

"Who?  All of Vulcan will be shopping today.  I see your humor is still intact, Trip."

"Thanks," thought Trip, swiping a hand across his profusely sweating brow.

"Join me at the tea bar in 20.5 minutes.  We can compare lists then.  If we have double of anything, I will return the items tomorrow.  The crowds are beginning to irritate me,"  T'Pol broadcasted to her husband

"Me too!"

"No kidding!"

"Who said that?"

"Mommy, you are lost!"

"Put that back, Satik!  And T'Var, get your butt over here."

Trip winced at the chaos in his head. "Uh, T'Pol, lets switch channels, we seem to be on a party line."

"There are no multiple telepathic channels, Trip.  Just shut down your telepathic reception.  See you in 20.5 minutes." 

Trip walked slowly to pace himself in the heat.  He tried to stay on the streets with awnings stretched overhead between buildings, but the Vulcan sun found him even there, tanning his sensitive human skin  through his clothing.  He hoped he was not getting sunburn again, but after two years of residence on this planet; he had the most wicked tan - more than equivalent to a Florida tan earned spending fourteen hour days out on boats.    He squinted ahead, trying to thread his way through the faster walking sea of Vulcans packing the streets.  As with human kids, youngsters were zipping effortlessly  between adults, then turning back to see what was keeping their parents.  Trip smiled at that ... which drew some puzzled looks and some frowning faces.  He resumed his blank, polite, disinterested visage and tried to walk a little faster. 

When Trip got to the intersection where he had to turn toward T'Pol's favorite tea bar, he pulled out his sun glasses.  This street had only an open-weave netting shading it, probably because it was wider and needed lighter material to span the distance two stories overhead.  It also was a street in which wheeled vehicular traffic was allowed.  No parking though, thank god.  The vehicles ran along right next to the shops, with the pedestrian walkways in the center between the lines of slowly moving flyers and ground cars.  Why?  Trip had asked T'Pol.  She had told him it was for ease of loading vehicles directly in front of the shops.   And Trip had to consciously remind himself that like the vehicle traffic, the walking pattern was 'walk on the left side, not the right'. Malcolm would probably feel more at home with this.  It had certainly taken Trip a long time to shift his driving reactions.  So T'Pol did most of the driving when they went for outings with the flyer.

There was a narrow side street jutting off from this busy one that enticed Trip.  He stepped into it, noting the older architecture, paused in front of a window display and lifted his sun glasses.  He was creating an eddy in the foot traffic flow, but so were other people as they stood in front of various shops.  This seemed to be a toy shop.  There was a legos-like model of the Vulcan High Council Building and a model of a Vulcan star-liner.   He bent forward for a closer view.  Maybe this would do for little Charles IV.  Hey, Lizzie would have loved a set of these Vulcan lego building blocks. His heart brushed a touch of sadness.  Maybe she WAS watching him now, because he could almost believe in katras and souls since Jon's experience ...  And the possibility of Surak's continued existence in some form had certainly animated the Vulcan imagination, especially with his birthday celebration approaching.  Interesting, since Vulcans seemed to ignore the birthdays of ordinary people.  He straightened and entered the shop.

"May I help you?"  asked the clerk in what Trip now recognized as southern continent Vulcan.  She had her hands clasped primly over her shop keeper's apron.

Trip gave her a polite nod and answered in his now understandable accent "Yes, please.  I would like to see what you have in building block sets."

"Certainly," the woman replied, only briefly running her eyes over Trip's ear roundedness.  She stepped over to a cabinet and opened it.  Within, Trip noted twenty sets of packaged building block sets, each with contents list and price. 

"I will look these over for a few minutes and let you know my selection," Trip said.

"As you wish," said the woman in a soft but clipped accent.

The woman nodded and backed away in one movement, then returned to sorting out some other toys on the sales counter.  Trip liked these small shops where usually there was only one customer at a time.  He still had to strain to understand when two or more Vulcans held a conversation in quick, inflection-loaded speech.  

The prices were in green ink, denoting seasonal sales, which were usually seven per cent off the normal price.  Everything on Vulcan seemed to be done in sevens.  Trip selected a smaller set.  SaCharlesk, as T'Pol's relatives called Charlie, might take to this toy ... or not.  If he did, Trip could always get one of the larger sets later.  He was about to remove the set from the shelf when he remembered this was only a display and the clerk would have sets behind the sales counter, already packaged in a carrying bag.  Efficient, these Vulcans, Trip was always reminding himself.  

He walked over to the sales desk and tapped a finger lightly on the counter to get the clerk's attention.  Then he mentioned the set's number and applied a finger to the padd registering his purchase.  The clerk wrote the shop number and the set's number on a padd Trip withdrew from his jacket pocket and  handed him his package.  She returned to her sorting job without another glance at Trip. 

When Trip first started living on Vulcan, this behavior of shop clerks had him wondering if he was being snubbed.  But he noticed Vulcan customers were treated the same - no "Have a nice day" or "Thanks for shopping with us" sentiments offered.  A concluded sale was a concluded sale, as T'Pol told him, "What more did you expect?"   Well, despite T'Pol having lived with humans, there was much she didn't warn him about Vulcan culture, seeming to expect he would just "get" it by observing it.  But then, he must have been assuming the same about Human culture when he and T'Pol had spent a month visiting his folks.

Trip left the shop, and reemerged into the wide net-shaded street.  Half a block's walk brought him to the tea bar where T'Pol was already seated with a pot of her favorite spiced tea and two mugs.  He took the other chair at the small square table and she poured him his tea.

"I have only found two items since we last talked.  One is for my uncle, the other for T'Lizzie."

"Well, I have finished the list off with something for Charlie.  We're done.  Not that I'm complaining, considering I don't like shopping much, but why only one gift per person?"

"More than one gift would be redundant, would it not, Thy'la?"

"Uh, well, that's not what us kids thought at Christmas or birthdays back home ..."

T'Pol raised one elegant eyebrow. "Not that this is a complaint either, but Humans tend to exceed the necessary in all their endeavors."

Trip grinned.  "And you for one seem to appreciate that, Darlin.  Especially in bed ..."

"Not in public, Trip, this place is all ears," T'Pol sharply admonished.

"Yeah, I noticed that gossip travels as fast on Vulcan as on Earth.  Must be the thin air.  Those sharp ears around here don't seem ta miss much.  Maybe that's why Vulcans have taken to those Terran soap operas.  They consist of half the Terran exports to this planet."

"Not half.  Only 10.9 percent of the Vulcan population watch them."

"Yeah?  Well, I've seen you watch those things too.  They never interested me.  Must be a gender thing."

"Correct.  Only 6.3 percent of male Vulcans to 15.5 percent of female Vulcans watch them.  But then, females have always shown more interest in languages, so it might be for learning Terran languages and culture." 

"Right," Trip grinned.  "Educational media, nothing at all to do with emotional gratification."

T'Pol gave him the Vulcan blank stare and held it until he dropped his eyes and made a show of sipping his tea.

"Uh, well, you want me to get the flyer and bring it around while you finish your tea?"

"That will not be necessary.  Soap opera style, I will walk back arm in arm with you to test the reactions of my fellow Vulcans.  I have noticed that in the two years we have walked among them arm in arm, there has been a 43.56 drop in frowns and double takes.  It vindicates my belief in the adaptability of my species."        

"Ya don't say!  I didn't know you were keeping track of something like that.  Yeah, I think I have noticed fewer negative reactions too.  Of course, I haven't been counting."

They finished their tea and signaled the wait staff that they were leaving.  Trip hefted all their packages despite T'Pol trying to protest. 

"We can't walk arm in arm if you carry them all."

"Indulge me, Darlin.  It's another Human gender thing."

"As you wish."

She led the way back to their flyer, clearing a path for Trip's wider form, packages sticking out on both sides of him.  People on Vulcan stepped back for anyone so burdened instead of the occasional bumping that Trip would have expected back home shopping with his mom, or years ago with Lizzie in Florida.  They both sighed upon reaching their vehicle and stuffing the packages into the back seat.  One more thing made Trip think of shopping back home.  It was the message written on the side of the flyer, in a childish hand, through the layer of fine sand dust that had accumulated since they had parked:    pu-tor t'nash- veh wadi   (wash me - or literally, wash my skin).   Dirty vehicle or not, the two of them were glad to get away from the crowds and go home to some peace and quiet.          

      


Comments:

Linda

Thanks for the reviews, everyone!  I like to write the quiet domestic ones set on Vulcan.  I so wish there was an ST TV series set on Vulcan with mostly Vulcan characters!  Oh, Misplaced, you might like my Vulcan's Don't Take Baths story as I'll bet you have your own experiences with kids and baths, LOL!

A

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

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Misplaced

This was a fun little snapshot in the daily life of married with kids T/T.  :)  :)  My favorite:

T'Pol raised one elegant eyebrow. "Not that this is a complaint either, but Humans tend to exceed the necessary in all their endeavors."

Trip grinned.  "And you for one seem to appreciate that, Darlin.  Especially in bed ..."

:p

Silverbullet

Does T'Pol also read Soap Opera romance Novels? Or  Soap Opera Stories?

I have often wondered how Trip would cope on Vulcan. Nice to see he is assimilitating.

Kids are kids no matter where.

 

Cogito

It's nice to see Vulcan children are not so different to human children. I'm particularly fond of stories of Trip and T'Pol coping with everyday life together so this story suits me down to the ground, but the added insight into Vulcan culture makes this story irresistible. It's great that T'Pol is not only taking her culture's reaction in her stride but is making a scientific experiment out of it. I bet she has kept a detailed log of every reaction cross-referenced by severity and duration. :D And she's taken to watching soap operas too? Priceless!

Brandyjane

I agree with you about Vulcan children, Linda.  This was really cute.

Linda

Thanks Alelou and Bluetiger.  I have always suspected that Vulcan kids would be more like Human kids before they were completely socialized into the Vulcan culture.  Tried to show that in the telepathic conversation and the running ahead of their parents in the streets too.  Always thought my youngest granddaughter would make a good Vulcan kid - the one with the springy pig tails, LOL.

bluetiger

What a wonderful little tale of holiday shopping. Trip seems to be taking to living on Vulcan almost like a native.

I too love the 'wash me' written in the dust.

Very enjoyable!

Alelou

I'm glad to know Vulcan kids write "Wash me" on vehicles also.  We need these kinds of constants in the universe.  And I really enjoy T'Pol's little experiment in soap opera style walking.  (I also get a kick out of the idea that Vulcan has an eager niche market for Terran soap operas.):p

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