I'm not talking about major, espionage-worthy deceit here. I'm talking about white lies that move along the hundreds of conversations you have with salespeople daily, so you can actually make it the past a line of tuk tuks in under an hour.
Here are the greatest hits so far:
When drivers offer you a ride and insist you come back and see him later, "maybe later" are the words they try to put in your mouth and it quickly becomes the easiest way out. It's a blatant lie because you know that later there'll be another hard working gent who's waiting for you with his ride just outside of where you're departing from, but it seems to work. It's also useful for people who want you to come into their shop...just never "promise".
Whilst trying to find out how they can meet your wants and needs for a reasonable price, the touts will hit you up with questions like, "where are you staying?", "what are your plans for today?", "where are you going now?". Being a paranoid Brit means it's unusual for me to tell complete strangers details of my movements, so variations of "we're just out for a walk" have us covered. The usual reaction to this (especially with tuk tuk and taxi drivers) suggests that they couldn't imagine why someone would choose to walk when they didn't have to.
When we usually can. What I usually mean here is "I just don't think it's worth that much". When haggling for things, we usually have an idea of what it's worth to us and that's what we're happy to pay. We understand that we're going to pay above the local rate and that's OK (as a kind of visitors tax), but drawing a line under what you can spend is the quickest way to get to a reasonable price.
Enroute to the accommodation that you're interested in, your driver is likely to sway your choice of room because, as it happens, he has a friend who owns a very special, cheap, luxury, paradise hotel nearby and you should stay there. Take my advice and head off the debate early by telling him you've booked ahead.
You can walk out of a restaurant, do a lap of the block and, without fail, the customer wranglers from the very same establishment will try and draw you back inside. That's how keen they are. Always polite, even in defeat, they come running at you with grins as big as their menus, hoping you'll come try their food. But, when you're full, you're full. And that's a universal understanding.