I recently returned from a trip to DC and, as is customary among Foreign Service folk, stuffed my suitcases with random items ranging from bourbon to dry shampoo. In my nine months living in El Salvador, I’ve found that I can purchase most things I need locally — either in local grocery stores, markets and malls or at the commissary.And for the specific products that I can’t find in person, I can purchase online via Amazon Prime. But this blog post isn’t about those things. It’s about the exceptions.I should preface this by saying that if you can’t live without your favorite [insert brand-specific haircare product, organic food item or obscure designer clothing], then you’ll have a more difficult adjustment. That, or you’ll be making frequent trips home to stock up/accepting frequent stays from visitors bearing gifts.Which is exactly what Kail and I have done with a number of items on my Things You Can’t Buy in El Salvador list:1. Bourbon. The commissary at the embassy does stock Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve, although the Woodford goes pretty quickly. And although there was NO BOURBON when we first arrived in September, we’ve been here for two large shipments of new goods since and the Maker’s Mark has lasted. That, coupled with various trips back to the U.S. (both by us and friends at the embassy) and visitors from the U.S., has resulted in the nice collection you see above.2. Certain spices. I recently shared a recipe for Slow Cooker Butter Chicken and mentioned that I ordered some spices through Amazon Prime. I’m not 100 percent sure that it’s impossible to find Indian spices (specifically, Tandoori Masala and Garam Masala) in El Salvador. It is not available in Super Selectos, the main grocery store, but I did not check the local oriental supermarket chain or other markets. Given that the first Indian restaurant just opened this year, I doubt the spices are available locally.3. Dry shampoo. So I don’t consider myself high-maintenance (others, such as my husband, might beg to differ) but I am guilty of having one brand-specific haircare product that I can’t live without: Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo. Shampoo/conditioner, hair spray and other styling products … I can use whatever brand is available. My dry shampoo supply was running low so I thought I would buy more from Sephora when I was in DC last week. Unfortunately both the Georgetown and Pentagon City locations were out of the powder version, so I had to branch out and test out the Dry Shampoo Spray, which so far is working out well.4. Women’s gummy multivitamins. Yes, gummy vitamins. But for adults, not children. One A Day brand multivitamins upset my stomach (even taken with food), so instead I take Vitafusion Women’s Gummy Vitamins, which I haven’t seen in local stores but which I’ve been able to buy online via Amazon Prime. I haven’t yet had to replenish my supply of Viactiv calcium chews so I’m not sure whether those are available locally.5. Eye drops. Eye drops and contact solution are available locally, but in most cases are way more expensive than they are in the U.S. I specifically like Refresh Plus individually packaged/single-use eye drops, which are meant to be equivalent to natural tears.We’re lucky here in El Salvador to have local access to many products and online access to shipping via the DPO (Diplomatic Post Office — much faster than the Diplomatic Pouch, which is the only option available at many posts). As for everything else, there’s a reason I just bought this digital luggage scale from Brookstone.What products can you not live without? Is there anything that’s difficult to purchase locally where you live?