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Los Angeles Freeway near Culver City

SOURCE: Building a Green Collar L.A., June 2009, http://www.dwell.com.

I don’t drive. When I first told a colleague at the retail store in West Hollywood where I once worked, she was flabbergasted: “You’re living in L.A. and you don’t drive? Girl… you’re crazy!”

Moving around in sprawling earthquake-prone Los Angeles – where there appears to be more cars than people – is a great challenge for me. Recently, it took me two hours, travelling on two buses, to get home from an afternoon show on Hollywood Boulevard. I missed the second bus by one minute and had to wait for half-an-hour at a desolate, cold, and windy bus-stop.  Happily, I spent the time chatting with the two female passengers who got off the first bus with me: Australian tourists who had arrived in L.A. the night before.

You never know who you’ll meet when you ride the bus. I just love when I meet people in such an unexpected way. What a small world!

I work from my Home Office. Through my Virtual Office, I can share my knowledge of the Brazilian market. The world is my marketplace.

My decision not to drive was made in the seventies when, as a geography undergraduate at the University of Guyana, I became aware of the effects of exhaust fumes on our delicately balanced biosphere.  Of course, that was only a small part of our habits that was destroying our planet. The bad news had come from a visiting American professor who conducted the one-year course: Biogeography.

I learned a lot that year. I determined then that I would do my part to care
for and save our planet.

When you grow up in a small city where your school, church, workplace, shopping center, and cinemas are all within walking distance, there is no urgency to learn to drive.

That changed when I moved to Fortaleza, capital of the State of Ceará, Northeast Brazil.