8 commuting things you forgot over Christmas (but now recall too well)

If you're lucky, you have just returned to work this week after having a lovely long festive time off. 

However like many people, you may have been jolted harshly out of your stuffing and Baileys induced stupor by the cruel realities of the back-to-work- commute. 

Here's a few of the things you may have experienced this week that reminded you you're back to reality (no, not reality!):

1. The existential crisis

There are three types of existential crisis which can occur on the commute home. 

The first is a legitimate breakdown where you suddenly realise that this bus stuck in traffic is a metaphor for your life going nowhere and that you'll be forever alone with no career prospects and a mean landlord etc. Luckily this crisis only occurs on really bad days and can be rectified with a Netflix binge, a hug from the housemate and some hot chocolate.

The second is the fake existential crisis, where you're gently resting your forehead against the bus window, as rain trickles down it outside and poignant lyrics play in your ears as you imagine yourself in a scene from some kind of rom-com montage. 

The third is arguably the most serious and usually happens when you decide to be a productive human and go grocery shopping after work instead of opening a tin of Hoops for the third night in a row. It's the moment of sheer panic when you realise that there is no way you're going to be able to gracefully descend the stairs of the Dublin Bus without either falling down and splitting your head open, dropping your phone and losing it to the commute or dropping a shopping bag, casing tampons and apples and biscuits to burst forth and roll around the upper deck causing general mayhem. The stress.

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2. The inconsistency of public transport

A very basic complaint, but the only thing you've waited on over the last two weeks is the turkey to cook, so suddenly being forced to huddle at a freezing train station looking longingly into the distance and almost straining your eyes to see if the train is even vaguely in the distance is a shock to the system. 

This, combined with the current weather conditions, has the entire commuting population of Ireland feeling very sorry for themselves indeed, as evidenced by the harassed facial expressions and perpetual checking of real time information apps that coincide with the return to work. 

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3. The brutal competitiveness

Sharpen those elbows and brace yourself, because the actual stampede to get on or off the bus at any given time is obscene. 

It reminds us of the scene in Jumanji where the entire house is demolished as a hoard of rhinos, elephants and zebras careen through the place in their rush to get out. 

Everyone else is the rhinos. We are Alan Parrish.

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4. The raver

The raver sits either right beside you or in front of you with the world's least sound isolating headphones on and his volume set to tinnitus-inducing.

Occasionally they'll be sat somewhere else on the bus and you'll look around in vague irritation in search of the source of the sound. 

And they're never, I repeat NEVER listening to anything interesting like a true crime podcast or The Gully Feminist or a bit of Sigrid. 

Nine times of out 10 it's blaring EDM or dubstep so generic you can't even tell where one song ends and the other begins. 

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5. The 'fragrant' fellow commuter

While we're on the topic of people on our bus, there's always that one person who clearly had a long hard day at work and needs a shower, or must have just smoked 40 cigs at the bus stop with the stress of being back at work, or is actually making you ill with the heady scent of too much eau de whatever. 

Sometimes we think that this experience is, truly, what separates us from the celebrities and famous folk. 

We bet Kim Kardashian hasn't ever had to squeeze into a seat next to that unfortunate soul with dog doo-doo on their show now has she? 

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6. The Supermacs consumer

It might not always be a Supermacs curry chip, but it will always be something stinky AF. 

There's usually that one person on the bus or train absolutely dogging into a large fish and chips or a kebab who simply could not wait until they got home to eat, they were too famished. 

However, the steamy fast food usually fogs up the windows and makes everyone gag, except for the other starving hungry people who are then absolutely salivating and texting the housemate to 'please please please put some chips in the oven if you're home from work before me,' thereby ruining their healthy eating resolutions. The rudeness.

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7. The man who spreads

We appreciate that there is the need to make a little more room between the legs for various genitalia, but essentially doing seated lunges and acting like your legs are physically repelled from one another is ludicrous. 

There has been more than one occasion on the Luas where we have missed our stops due to the obstacle course of male legs deterring our exits, never mind the discomfort of having to passive aggressively cross and uncross our legs while sighing to draw attention to the fact that we have a postage stamp worth of space compared to our commuting brethren. 

Our trick is to womanspread aggressively and see how many odd looks you get. Yes, I am lounging in my chair attempting to do the seated splits, what of it? 

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8. FINALLY getting home

For some reason, the bad weather makes traffic approximately 400% slower, and the actual frustration of sitting of an immobile bus in a traffic standstill is enough to trigger one of those aforementioned breakdowns. 

The joy of hopping off the bus or train, skipping down the road (or trudging, dependant on the day at hand) and slipping your key in the front door is one of life's truly simple pleasures. 

Now, the hunt for the slippers and standing in front of the fridge for hours to contemplate dinner can begin. 

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