Can I always think "what can I say" as talking to oneself, not a real question?
The phrase "what can I say" is often used to talk to oneself, but not always as sometimes it is used to express something to someone else. For example, "what can I say" can be used to let someone know that you have no words or that you are unable to explain something. However, you are correct in that it is not usually a real question but instead a hypothetical question that does not require a response. Ex: What can I say, people don't change. Ex: I can't ever tell her no. When she asks for a favor, what can I say except "of course"?