This country is rich in local vocabulary.
One VERY common phrase I forgot to add to my conversation was ¿Cómo le va? Is that common in other areas? I say it at least 10 to 15 times a day.
Mae or alternatively maje is, as far as I know, a corruption of English 'mate' or is at least very similar. It's used in all the same ways (as I recall from my trip to sunny, sunny England last year). Some 'pachucos' as the teenagers are affectionately called can't go one sentence without using either pura vida or mae.
Another thing you hear a lot that I forgot to include in my conversation is tuanis.
A: Pura vida mae, ¿Cómo le va?
A: ¡Qué dicha!
Tuanis is a corruption of English 'Too nice!'
or a respectful way to greet an old person on the street:
A: Upe. (in a loud comical way, shortened from the 'virgin of Guadeloupe')
B: Hola muchacho.
I think I overheard this exact conversation at restaurant yesterday.
Of course pura vida (pure life) is a very special term used by all people young and old. It is essentially a greeting and reminder that life is a pure experience in Costa Rica: one is surrounded by natural beauty, strong family values and an extremely easy-going-let's-just-pick-mangoes-today mentality.
Another question: Do other people say Mejenguear as a verb to say 'to play soccer'? Ejemplo: Mejenguamos hoy