Cardassians do excel at...Cardassians do excel at... in General Fiction More Like This
It took years for Doctor Bashir to realize he would never figure it out.
After hours of conversation you should have learned something about a person. But it didn't happen that way.
Garak dropped careful hints, but they were always scooped back up before Bashir could make sense them.
A wiser, worldlier person might have accepted it sooner, but not Bashir. He kept believing that someday Garak would give him the hint he needed.
Garak realized this would be the way of things, from the first day he met Bashir. He very nearly laughed, but that would've spoiled the game.