I was on the bus the other day and I was listening to music on my iPod. The girl next to me was having a text message conversation, which I was reading (obviously).
She was complaining to the person she was texting about some foreign exchange students who were speaking too loudly in another language. The person she was texting responded, "You should take your iPod with you and then you wouldn't have to deal with that." The girl answers, "I would do that but I just really love people-watching, and you can't do that with headphones in."
Okay, a couple things.
First of all, don't complain about something you're overhearing being annoying if you intentionally don't bring your iPod so you can people-watch.
Second, I was doing more successful people-watching WITH my headphones in by reading her text messages than she was by not listening to music and overhearing a conversation that she didn't understand.