The lizard slips up onto the bench beneath the mangrove tree.
A nearby couple startle, whisper together nervously, then scurry off. The lizard eyes off the softdrink bottles they left behind, realises there is nothing it can eat, and decides to sun itself instead.
Jel and I laugh. The reptile does look scary: three foot long, spikes down its back, stripes like a crocodile, nicturating membranes flicking over yellow eyes. An Eastern Water Dragon, as I find out when I look it up on my phone later.
In Melbourne, cafés are scavenged by pigeons and seagulls. In Brisbane, you get ibises and miniature dinosaurs.
Warmed by the sun, the lizard crawls over to our table. Its yellow eyes stare at me. I try staring back. But the lizard has an unfair advantage: it knows I'm not about to leapt over and bite it. I cannot say the same about it.
We finish our tea quickly and hurry off to look at a some sculpture.