Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Last of the Greeks (not really)

Here are the last few drawings from my trip.

Hands down, the worst day of the trip was the day we were going home. Not because we wanted to stay in Europe longer, but because we had to get up at 2 am & fly all day. While the rest of the world was busy painting & hiding eggs & eating twice their body weight in chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps & jellybeans, we had to spend half the day either in a crowded airport or a crowded plane. How fun.

Like I said before, we got up at 2 am. We checked out & left the hotel at around 3-3:30 (no breakfast) & arrived at the airport by 4-ish. There we had to go through security & wait 2 hours in a loud & smelly airport terminal until our plane arrived. Some of us were able to get a few more Z's. I, however, was one of the unlucky ones. While everyone else was snoozing, I took out my sketchbook & started to sketch.

The dreary-eyed, haggard & wrecked faces of Steve-O & Randy the Dodo you see in the above picture are actually exaggerated representations how I looked & felt at that very moment. The impatience, the yawning, the tossing & turning & itching & restlessness as time crept along at a snail's pace.

At the top, you can see a drawing of my friend Jason sleeping. He snores. Loudly. That along with the snores of about 35 other people (friends & strangers alike), the buzzing of the fluorescent lights above my head, the muffled sounds of plane engines behind the glass & asbestos-filled walls & the loud speakers blasting without warning nearly drove me insane (if I already wasn't by that time)...

Eventually, the plane arrived. Our weak & tired bodies ached & strained passed through the gate. Our 2-hour flight from Athens to Rome was absolutely aggravating. The food they served us wasn't even good enough for starving raccoons. As my friends wolfed down their gruel-like meals & enjoyed the bumbling adventures of Mr. Bean on the overhead screens, I couldn't get comfortable. I barely slept 20 minutes before we landed in Rome.

Little did I know that we were in store for another unsettling surprise. We had a 6-hour layover in Rome. Perfect, just enough time to buy duty-free cigarettes, chocolates, colognes & cognac. I decided not to go that way & just sit it out. Luckily I had my sketchbook to help pass the time.

This is probably one of my top favorite drawing from the trip. This is basically what everyone (including myself) was doing during the wait. Listening to classical music on my iPod, eating Italian Pringles, washing it down with a few bottles of Italian Sprite & reading anything I could get my hands on. Besides that, I had other things to do to help time speed along.

One of those other things was a deck of cards. UNO cards to be exact. We played UNO all throughout the trip, & this was the perfect opportunity to bring it out for one last time. I one a few, lost a lot more. Losing in UNO feels like eternal damnation on your soul in the bowels of Hell, followed by an inescapable desire to play another round. This drawing sums up that feeling.

Thanks to the UNO cards & a few doses of Advil & Airborne, the time flew by, & we were about to do the same. But of course, we faced another obstacle, another 10 hour flight across the Atlantic.

Along with the rack, the breaking wheel & the taser gun, the airplane seat is one of the most painful torture devices known to mankind. A few hours in one of these babies can make you more bent over than the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Luckily, I scrapped through it with only minor injuries. Steve-O, however, looks like he had it worse than I did. These last two drawings explain why.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this series of sketches from my somewhat-pleasant trip to Europe.

Make sure to leave comments & stay tuned for what I have next in store!


Anonymous said...

HHEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY how u doin man nice drawin's good times gooood times but yea u really got the feelin of us at the airport @ 3am

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Hey Mic! Thanks for the props!

How's it been since I saw you in Italy? Can you believe that I'm STILL jetlagged after that day?

Nice to see you stop by the blog! Hope you stop by here regularly, I'll make sure to post more often!