Jean-Marie G. Le Clézio said this quote

I thought that to get to know a desert it was enough to have been there. I thought that to have seen the dogs dying along the Cholula road, or to have seen the eyes of the lepers at Chiengmai gave me the right to talk about it. To have seen! To have been there! Rubbish! The world is not a book, it proves nothing. The spaces one has crossed were dark corridors with closed doors. The faces of the women to whom one gave oneself up completely: did they speak for anyone but themselves? The cities of man are secret. One walks along their streets, one sees them shine under one's feet, but one is not there, one never enters them. The dusty fields inhabited by people who are hungry, who wait patiently, are paradises of luxury and nourishment; shining at a vast distance from intelligence, at a vast distance from reason. They are not to be subjugated.