Knits and purls are opposite stitches:
When you knit, the stitch looks like a knit on the side facing you, but like a purl on the side away from you.
When you purl, the stitch looks like a purl on the side facing you, but like a knit on the side away from you.
Since you claim that things look okay (like a purl) on the opposite side, it is probably that you are really knitting stitches rather than purling.
And, when you switch from knit to purl or purl to knit the first row may not be so obvious in its distinction (especially if you are a new knitter). But, if you work a few more rows then the pattern will become more evident.
Also, when you work multiple rows of knits OR purls you will always get garter stitch. i.e. it will look the same. You have to work stockinette stitch (one row knit, next row purl) in order to keep knits looking like knits and purls looking like purls.