The Army was a revelation of toilets.
The one in the MEPS*, where I had to drink several colas in order to produce urine in front of the urine tester. A standard, and very clean, public facility, stalls, but with the door open. And me with a shy bladder. For the medical tests for induction. I somehow managed, though it took me a few hours. It became a strange sort of skill.
The first one in Reception Station for Basic had a shower that didn't drain, and no warm water. I took a cold shower in 6" of cold water, in "shower shoes", or flip flops, as though that would help anything in those conditions. The ones in our barracks in Basic were immaculate, due to our enforced vigilance. But flushing while anyone was showering caused agonized hoots and howls, as the hot water overtook the sudden withdrawal of cold to the tank. Once, my dogtags spontaneously disengaged while I was on the toilet, sliding from my neck and down and down and in. I looked in, took a long hard breath, and plunged my hand into dilute piss to retrieve them. Flushing them was unthinkable, no time to use anything but my hand - and that would wash. One of those moments when I realized that all the rules had changed, forever.
At one of the field stations, the toilets were doubled, with no wall between. The other woman and I turned our backs and IGNORED. Amazing how much one can live completely inside one's skin. All through a week in the field, and the three holers, and I had a significant lack of "unclenching." During the traditional mocking of the Drill Sergeants at the end of Rifle Maneuvers, I found, in the dark after the night fire, the most beautiful Port-a-Potty. There, in the privacy, in the dark, alone, wind whistling around, I had relief. To this day, I have a strange fondness for those self-contained privies.
The wooden constructions at our site outside Riyadh malfunctioned regularly. But they were real toilets in much graffitied plywood stalls. At night, the wind blew up cold on the porcelain, making the last night visit a bit of a chilly thrill. Then to bed down in the halls of the temper-tent, hoping not to have to go out again until morning. The marble ones, in the buildings the Saudis gave us for our HQ, were erratically plumbed, with a bidet - which we used for storage, since none of us knew how to use it as intended.
The one that sticks in my mind though, the one that keeps re-prompting this post, is the one in the E-club in San Antonio. The women's restroom had no doors on the stalls. Stall. I suppose that makes a weird kind of sense, for the MPs convenience, at least. Discourages use as a place to have sex, or use drugs. Takes a bloody minded trick of the mind, for someone like me, to just deal and go, necessary since I was drinking a lot at this point. First time I saw one of those huge toilet rolls, 2' diameter roll in a plastic dispenser. I had to laugh at the practicality. Of course, I was probably drunk at the time.
I don't know what it says about me, that this is what I can most easily visualize about those experiences. Feel them in my gut, in my water.
*Military Entrance Processing Station. The military does so love acronyms.