Tengo fama de cicatero porque nadie puede imaginarse que sea tan pobre si vivo donde vivo, y la verdad es que una noche como aquélla estaba muy por encima de mis recursos. (Memorias de mis putas tristes, Garcia Marquez)

The English translation (Grossman) I find for the bold part says "if I live where I live", but it makes no sense to me, it is like saying "if I am the one who is writing this". Grossman's translation for the whole sentence is:

I have a reputation as a miser because no one can imagine I'm as poor as I am if I live where I live, but the truth is that a night like this was far beyond my means.

The whole sentence is somewhat hard for me to understand, also because the author brings the reason for being famous for stinginess as "people would not believe how poor I am if I live where I live."

  • 1
    Maybe it means that he lives in a rich building / neighborhood / city despite being poor, thus "no one can imagine I am poor if I live where I live"
    – user14029
    Nov 1, 2016 at 10:20
  • To me, it would be cleared had the translation been "no one can imagine I'm as poor as I am, living where I live, ..."
    – yatima2975
    Nov 1, 2016 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


As user says, the expression means that the person lives in a place that makes impossible to think that he/she is poor. It's like saying "people can't imagine how poor I am if I live in Beverly Hills".

This kind of expressions can be used in any context. Some examples:

¿Cómo puedo tener deudas si gano lo que gano? (It is implied that the person earns a good salary.)

Fulano cogió cáncer a pesar de llevar la vida que lleva. (It is implied that the person lives a healthy life.)

¿Cómo puede seguir sobrio si ha bebido lo que ha bebido? (It is implied that the person has drunk quite a lot.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.