Puentes (bridges in English) are one of those Spanish practices that I was always jealous of and one that spoke to the Spanish propensity towards working to live and not living to work. Basically any time a national or bank holiday fell midweek, workers and schoolchildren would get not only that day off, but they’d also get a little “bridge” vacation, meaning the days in between the holiday and the weekend were also non-work days. Kind of like the way we treat Thanksgiving and the following Friday, except they do it for every holiday that falls on a non-Monday or Friday weekday. It was awesome for me as a worker, but probably not the best thing for national productivity. But now, considering Spain’s looming debt crisis and their newly elected PM Mariano Rajoy, it looks like some of that Spanish joie de vivre might be sacrificed to help get the economy back on its feet. Link.