KOTA KINABALU: Is The Flash here in Malaysia? Well, he was in Sabah – until yesterday.
There has been a buzz about the man who plays the Flash in the TV series after an Instagram post of him and his fiancee, with a small building in the background, was uploaded recently.
Many Sabahans knew instantly that they were in Kota Kinabalu.
Thomas Grant Gustin, 27, better known as Barry Allen a.k.a Flash the superhero, was here in Sabah from Dec 17, and returned to the United States with his partner and some close friends and relatives yesterday.
However, the duo did not reveal where they were as they wanted privacy during their stay here that included a trip to the secluded Gaya Island resort.
Many people did recognise them but kept their distance.
“They were very respectful. Most of them would just come up to us requesting for a photo if they saw us. There were not many who would sneak a picture or come rudely up to us,” he said.
Gustin was here for a traditional ceremony with his fiancee Andrea Thoma, 29, a physical therapist who is half-Kadazan.
Gustin and Thoma, when met during a dinner hosted by the Sabah Tourism Board on Dec 23, were both excited to learn more about the state and the Kadazandusun culture.
Gustin said it was his first time in the country, and that he found it very beautiful with amazing people.
He said he had been learning some simple Kadazan words including Kotohuadan which means thank you and Aramaitii! (a word used during celebrations to mean “cheers”).
“I have also been told that the people here can roll their tongues and pronounce rrrrr well,” Gustin said while demonstrating his newfound talent of rolling his tongue.
The traditional wedding ceremony at their family home in Kg Kolopis Penampang on Wednesday was attended by only a handful of close friends and family including Thoma’s parents, elder sister and brother.
Thoma said though she was born in Ohio, the United States, and had lived there her whole life, she knew some of the culture practised in Sabah and can even speak a little Malay and Kadazan because of her mother.
“My mum makes sure that she speaks to us in Kadazan at times so that we would not be completely clueless about our other identity apart from being American,” she said.
She said her family returns to Sabah every few years so as not to lose touch with their Borneo heritage.
Thoma and her siblings love food with belacan or shrimp paste, thanks to their mother who always cooked whatever reminded her of home.
Gustin, however, has yet to try anything exotic as the Thomas are taking things one step at a time, not wanting to give him a culture shock.
Gustin said they would definitely be coming back often now.
It is learnt that he is already talking about buying land and property here.
The couple plan to formally marry in the United States sometime next year.