"The English never say no and the French never say yes." Understanding cultural differences is often the key to success, or indeed the cause of failure, in commercial negotiations. Gestures are a particularly important area of difference and often give rise to misunderstandings. Such cultural features are found too where matters of payment and debt collection are concerned.
The first time you go to Athens, you’ll need a little time – and a few misunderstandings – before realising that “neh” means “yes” and “oh-kee” means “no”. Not so much because of the words themselves, but because of the gestures that go with them: there is no gesture to emphasise “yes”, while “no” is generally accompanied by a nodding of the head that for us would signify full agreement. It’s also far from obvious that a “tss” sound emitted with the eyes rolled upwards combined with a shrug is not intended as an insult, it just means “I don’t know”.