By Josh Noel, Tribune Newspapers
May 15, 2010
Herbert Lang and Nathaniel Lofton are better known by their Harlem Globetrotters names: Flight Time Lang and Big Easy Lofton. They're even better known for being contestants in the 15th season of "The Amazing Race," finishing fourth in the teammate scramble around the globe. Though their involvement in the show is over, they're still on the move. Flight Time has been a Globetrotter for 11 years and Big Easy for five, and they spend as many as nine months of the year traveling and doing their famous hoops tricks.
Q: What places have you been to for basketball or for the show that you'd be most likely to return to for vacation?
Answer Big Easy: Rio. Seeing the big statue of Jesus was cool. Athens, Greece, was nice. And Madrid. Those are places with architecture and history and where everyone is just relaxed and smiling at you.
Answer Flight Time: Southern Spain — like Malaga — would be a great place to go with your family. In "The Amazing Race," I said if we were eliminated in the Czech Republic, I'd never want to go back, but I would actually like to go back to Prague. The architecture and the history and the buildings are great.
Q: Beyond the basics, what are three things you must have with you on the road?
A BE: My laptop so I can Skype with my daughters, Taisa and Taiana (9 and 5), my iPod and my BlackBerry.
A FT: You've got to have your passport, your debit card and a map. In a new city, first thing at the airport, I get a map. But I bring my iPod too.
Q: What's the best food you've had on the road?
A FT: In Sicily, the fresh calamari.
A BE: In Mexico, they called me Big Guacamole because I ate guacamole whenever I could — on burgers, chips, fries, whatever. And in Alaska, that's the best salmon. It's so fresh.
Q: You guys both live in Louisiana. What's a great restaurant where visitors can experience Southern cuisine?
A BE: Dooky Chase (2301 Orleans Ave., New Orleans; 504-821-0600) is home-style New Orleans cooking.
A FT: Ernest's Orleans (1601 Spring St., Shreveport; 318-226-1325) is my favorite.
Q: What's the best way to break through in a foreign country where you don't know the language or the customs?
A BE: Smile.
A FT: Yeah, you got a guy like him who is 6 (feet) 9 (inches) and ugly; if he frowns, someone might be intimidated.
A BE: And learn a couple of words in their language.
Q: Favorite American city?
A BE: New Orleans!
A FT: Miami is fun.
A BE: We have fun everywhere.
A FT: We just like being in the states.
Q: Big Easy, what is the biggest pitfall of being a traveler who stands 6 feet 9 inches?
A (BE): In Asia, the bathrooms are small. The shower head reaches my belly. And in Europe, the beds are small.
A FT: You have to push them together.
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