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I admit- I sometimes ‘eavesdrop’ on other people’s conversations on the bus. Not intentionally, of course. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that I’m having my hearing invaded against my will.

One observation- what is it with youths and the F-word nowadays? They frequently drop it in their conversations as if it’s the epitome of cool. A bunch of youths sitting right behind me on the bus one day started on a long rant ‘F***ing’ everything, culminating in God and religion. Boy that got me mad. Thank goodness I alighted soon after. Maybe I shouldn’t be calling them youths because I’m about their age myself. But I just don’t associate myself with such people.

However, one day I caught an interesting snippet of the exchange between two guys, about graffiti as an art form. I’d dismissed them as typical bad boy types with rough speech, but the insight I gained surprised me. One of them said, “What astounds me about graffiti is how a simple four-letter word is transformed into a work of art. It’s given an abstract quality yet remains legible at the same time.”

It struck me that he was talking about graffiti in very much the same manner as I do for works of art, design and literature that I admire. That certainly taught me not to judge by appearances. Uncouth, seemingly uncultivated people can actually harbour artistic sensibility and appreciation. I derived from their conversation that the pair are graffiti artists. How fascinating. Given his passionate tone, I’d love to see someday what sort of work he produces.

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