SINGAPORE - The Community Development Council (CDC) voucher scheme, announced earlier this year, is meant to defray cost of living expenses for households.
Beyond the daily necessities, the vouchers can also be used to learn a new skill, get crafty, rediscover a long-lost hobby or grab a spot of rest.
There are small enterprises beyond F&B businesses that will benefit from CDC vouchers too.
The Straits Times susses out some of the quirkier ways to spend your vouchers. For the full list of merchants that accept CDC vouchers, go to this website.
Another Fly Story
02-5047, Block 465 North Bridge Road; open: 11am to 7pm (Mondays to Saturdays), Closed on Sundays; go to Another Fly Story's website
01-3972, 13 North Bridge Road, open: 9am to 6pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 10am to 4pm (Sundays); go to Tackle World's Facebook
01-3986, 13 North Bridge Road; open: 10.30am to 8pm daily; go to 2000 Tackle's Facebook
Located within a 10-minute walk of one another are these three fishing tackle shops in North Bridge Road.
Another Fly Story specialises in fly fishing and the enthusiastic and friendly staff will talk beginners through the wonders of tying fishing flies.
The shop carries a wide range of bright feathers, imported from legal, farmed sources as well as the flat threads used to tie flies. Check with the staff for workshop details.
Tackle World carries a wide range of supplies, from rods to carbon steel hooks to realistic plastic prawn bait.
Basic rods start at $25 to $35, although the friendly uncle manning the store advises the beginner to invest in proper wires and that can cost from $85 to $100.
For the serious sport fisherman, there is the more upscale 2000 Tackle, which carries a wide range of Shimano rods and reels.
02-87, 2 Kitchener Road; open: noon to 8pm daily; call or WhatsApp 8181-5088 (from noon to 8pm only); go to Ukelele Movement's website
A staggering number of ukuleles lines this shop tucked into the second floor of a Housing Board block.
The shop also offers lessons, starting from $65 for an hour. There is no minimum number of lessons you have to commit to, and you can tailor the lesson to your requirements, whether it be learning a specific pop tune or just the basics.
The lessons are one-on-one, and the instructor will try to accommodate scheduling requests.
01-4671, Block 14 Beach Road; open: 11am to 6pm daily; go to Tan Aquarium's Facebook
This sleepy-looking shop seems unprepossessing from the outside, with tanks full of the usual guppies and goldfish. But step inside and you will find an amazing array of colourful betta fish. They are priced from $15 all the way to $40 for a champion fish.
02-07, Block 463 Crawford Lane; open: 1 to 6pm (Fridays to Sundays), other days by appointment; go to Roomier's website
Remember those Kickapoo and Chinese Coca-Cola glasses? And the rice bowls decorated with Chinese kids at play? Here is the place to get those items. The glasses and bowls cost from $18 each.
Artz Baking & Culinary
02-16, Block 466 Crawford Lane; go to Artz Baking & Culinary's website
If you felt #fomo from seeing everyone getting into baking during the pandemic, then sign up for a class here.
This cooking studio offers a staggering array of baking and cooking classes - from $128 to $500 - ranging from complicated, cutesy cakes to savoury Asian dishes. Check its website for upcoming classes.
It is right above the famous Tai Hwa Pork Noodle at Crawford.
02-47, Block 462 Crawford Lane; open: noon to 8pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), noon to 6pm (Saturdays and Sundays), closed on Mondays; go to Masterpiece Collectibles' website
This is transport geek heaven. Detailed models of Singapore buses, taxis and trains are on offer here.
Those of a certain age will recognise the yellow City Shuttle Service and the yellow-top black cab miniatures. The detailing, right down to the bus signage, is impressive. Prices range from $12 for the small Toyota Crown Comfort Taxi to $320 for a 1:43 scale model of bus service 13.
Basheer Graphic Books
04-19 Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain Street; open: 10am to 8pm (Mondays to Saturdays), 11am to 7pm (Sundays); go to Basheer Graphic Books' website
This legendary bookstore carries a wide range of books related to art and architecture, design and movies. Easiest way to spend $100.
01-24, 261 Waterloo Street; open: 8.30am to 6.30pm daily; go to Kurasu's Instagram
This achingly stylish cafe is currently hidden behind construction hoarding in Waterloo Street.
Its creamy minimalist interior, with coffee paraphernalia adorning an accent wall, is a dead giveaway that this is a Japanese joint. The Singapore outpost of a Kyoto coffee speciality shop, this place serves coffee roasted and brewed to exacting Japanese standards.
Forget the minuscule food menu and zoom in on the coffee. Fruity and berry blends in the usual Japanese style dominate. Try the matchaffogato ($10), which teams a scoop of matcha with a tart shot of espresso.
Almost like taking a short break in Japan.
Pacto by Parchmen
01-05, 69 Jellicoe Road; open: 8.30am to 5.30pm daily; go to Pacto by Parchmen's Instagram
This elegant nook by local company Parchmen is tucked improbably into the Jalan Besar Community Centre.
But it is well worth searching out for a Zen escape into fine teas. Parchmen imports a mind-boggling array of teas, and on the day I stopped by, the cafe's selection included Ripe Puer and Purple Bamboo Shoots.
Look out, too, for its unusual tea-flavoured gelatos, some produced in collaboration with veteran gelato shop Tom's Palette.
- This is a monthly column, which sniffs out nifty buys for the inner auntie in everyone.