There was a man about his age wiping down tables and sweeping the floor.
“Excuse me,” said Jason, “may I talk to the manager?”
“He's in there, mate.” The man gestured with his shoulder.
“Thanks.” Jason couldn't bring himself to say “mate”. It seemed pretentious and false coming from him. In Britain, only working class men called each other mate. He'd read that Ozzies called their friends “cobber”. And they had other strange words, like “drongo”, and “billabong” and “reffo”. He felt too out of place to use these words. But he was also conscious of just how plummy his accent sounded compared to the different English he heard all around him.
The manager was an older man who looked like an aging rock star, and not in a good way. Like someone who'd taken too much cocaine, hadn't slept enough, had spent to many nights awake and too many days on drugs to keep himself going. His hair – what he had – was shoulder length. It wasn't an inspiring look.
The manager raised his eyebrows interrogatively.